The Call to Presidency

I had a dream since I was 10 years old. Just like any other kid, my dream was big. I wanted to become President of the Philippines. I even had plans how to solve unemployment and pollution – some of the early social issues I observed in my native hometown.

As I got older, and reality set in, my dream started to fade into something more realistic. Something I considered attainable as I start to plan out my life. But every now and then, something would happen that will make me remember that childhood dream.

My heart would hurt every time I will encounter a social issue – injustice, political corruption, unemployment, environmental pollution, etc. My heart hurts for the country and the people. And I start to long to serve them, do things to improve our country’s situation.

The dream kept cropping up in odd moments of my life but I never gave it a serious thought. I was at a loss and I thought it impossible. I have no political background or political connections. I have no political education.

But it seems God has His own plans for me – and that my dream is not a silly childhood fantasy.

Last year, God reminded me about my desires to be president. I have since learned that with God nothing is impossible. That God plants our destinies in our hearts in the form of dreams. And because of that, I have accepted that I will, indeed, one day become the President of the Philippines.

I declared it and people have agreed. In fact, they constantly remind me of my dreams. But with every AMEN I answer back, I can’t help but feel some doubt in my heart. I smile and say “Amen” but deep down, I ask God if being president is indeed possible? I mean, look at me? Who am I? Where am I? What am I?

I have so many questions – all directed at the situation that confronts me. That I fail to see the bigger picture. The only question I need to answer was – WHO SENT ME?

And this weekend, God affirmed, that indeed He is in control. And that Yes, Presidency is my destiny. And that I am in the right track of where He wants me to be.

Yes, I do not come from a political family. Yes, I do not have any political background. Political connections? Well, come to think of it. I do know people in high offices who can introduce me to people. I just need to tap them. And as God indicated, the opportunity will arise when the time is right.

What does God require of me now then? His answer is clear: continue to develop myself – who I am in relation to the position I will soon occupy. Looking back at where He has led me in the past years, the experiences that shaped who I am now, I can see without any shred of doubt that indeed He has been preparing me for the time when He will use me to lead this country.

Who would have thought that a biology graduate would find herself excelling in management? Able to effectively manage and lead people, understand how businesses and organizations run, develop acumen in strategic planning – traits essential to a soon-to-be-leader of this country? Along the way God has also been working on my character. That I will not be greedy after power. That I will not fall into the trap that has corrupted many noble souls.

How the rest of the next 15 years will pan out until I qualify for the position – I cannot answer. I trust that God will make it happen.

The voices of doubt is still there. I can still hear them. But just like in the raging seas, I will not let the turbulent waters enter my boat so I will not sink and rather reach my destination safe and well. I will not let the negative thoughts cloud my heart or overpower my mind. I choose to believe that I have Jesus as my captain and that I am riding the boat to my destiny and He will expertly guide me there regardless of the turbulence around me.

Just like how Joseph eventually became Pharaoh’s second in command – I know that everything that is happening to me now is in accordance to His plans. And every day, I learn to trust Him more and more.

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inspired to a burning desire

A few days ago I was inspired to look for a certain folding technique we used for the brochure of the 9th Bicol Business Week. I was part of this initiative last 2013 and I must say although filled with doubts, angst and hardships, not to mention loads of stress, I was immensely proud when we were able to pull it off. I won’t be hypocritical and admit that seeing my name plastered by the wall – labelled as one of the Best of Bicol – and having had the chance to be with similar like-minded persons who burned with the same passion as I do – was a heady and fulfilling feeling. It felt as if I was having the time of my life, despite the stress, and I was living it a dream. I felt proud of what I have accomplished, the people I worked with and the entity we embodied – the Best of Bicol.

Fast forward, I have been disconnected with such great people for quite a year already. I have relegated back to my employee mundane life – in search of the constant outlet for a socially worthy cause. I have always had the social fire burning deep in me – embers most of the time but flaming to such burning heights in the face of disaster (Typhoon Glenda saw me wanting to volunteer and help out where I can) or in the face of social enterprise – like right now.

Remembering the team I had worked with, I searched across Facebook to find out what they were up to. (Yes – I am the social media savvy person who despite the resources is humongously unawares of what is happening to my more than 1000+ Facebook friends.) Well, a search across Facebook revealed that in the year since I volunteered to their cause, they have blazed new trails and crossed frontiers catapulting them to such even greater heights than before. It’s inspiring it burns a hole in my heart which hurts.

From it’s humble beginnings as a school project, the team, powered by their generous hearts and overwhelming vision for the country has brought their project to a full scale social enterprise – the kind that draws the attention of the world. I am in awe. I am inspired. I long to follow.

And so it begs me to ask – Lord, what is this fire burning within me? Will it consume me to flames and burn me or will I be able to flare up, burn brighter and bring You glory? I long to be socially responsible – I have always been in the lookout how. I know I have a dream – a vision so grand it scares me. I have people who support such a dream, even though it appears so seemingly impossible.

And so I dream. Yet I remain here. How I go from here to there where my dream is, I do not know. But one thing I do know – God places dreams in your heart. These are His visions for you – his plans for your future. Will you accept the dream no matter how seemingly impossible? If your faith is true and you accept the challenge, then doors of opportunities will open. And even when something seems insignificant, to God who sees and knows everything, it’s all part of the pieces of the puzzle that would soon come together to form a beautiful picture.

NOWHERE GIRL


 
She’s all lost and alone,
Scared of too much things.
If only she could see how much she’s grown,
Or appreciate the little things life brings.
 
She said she’s at the edge of a cliff
And all she wants to do is jump.
Can’t she see that life’s not that stiff,
Not straight roads, but also full of bumps?
 
She’ll never know whether she’ll crash or fly
Or discover life in its fullest bloom.
I wanted to desperately ask her “why?”
“Why now and why this soon?”
 
                She’s my lost and lonely girl
                Always aloof and apart
                She’s the Nowhere Girl
                Can’t you see how you’re breaking my heart?
 
Tears well up in her eyes
As she feels the need to be free.
Yet she’s scared of long and sad goodbyes
Of unknown things and uncertainty.
 
Go and live your life, my sweet Nowhere Girl
Go! And let your sails unfurl.
Go and discover what life really is,
Carpe Diem, never resist.
 
                She’s still the Nowhere Girl,
                Always looking beyond the horizon
                If she finds her path, her destiny
                Then the girl will soon be ready…
               
If you go tired of chasing your dreams,
Flowing like water between the seams,
Then surely you can return home…
And you’ll find you’ve never been alone. 

*made for me  by someone “special” ;-P

the change in me i didn’t want to happen

Sometimes I wonder if I have issues with superiority and following or if I am simply a free-spirited person. Sometimes I wonder if I would ever last in a job where I need to take orders and be boxed by a rigid set of rules or if I was simply meant to work in a boundless environment. A friend and mentor did forewarn me that I was not suited for an office job or any other static job that would eventually end up routinary. He told me that the best jobs for me would be something that would always excite my creativity or push me to constantly change or innovate all the time. I would fare better in a job that would constantly push me to my limits and challenge my creative mind. I will never be content in a job that would require me to work routinely day in day out.

 

I should have listened to such a precious gem of advice. I should have heeded it the first chance I got. But I was scared. I was complacent. I was impatient. I knew no better. I had grown tired of my vagabond days in school. I felt that I needed a more stable, less exciting, and more predictable life. I felt like I couldn’t take another moment of stressful organizing, chaotic order and countless networking. I felt like I needed a break. I decided to be a bum. Of course, I needed to earn money. It would be selfishness if I continue to impose myself upon my parents long after graduation just because I felt like I needed a break from who I am. And so I became a call center agent, specifically, a Technical Support Representative.

 

Continue reading “the change in me i didn’t want to happen”

a rare moment of insanity (and irresponsibility)

I know it was immature and irresponsible. I know it goes against all my principles and my personality. But I had to do it. I had to be irresponsible and immature – just for once. Just this one time. 

 

Why? I cannot exactly tell. Maybe it was a way of telling the world (or myself) that I can also go against the tide; that I can also be reckless to the point of stupidity; irresponsible to the point of foolishness. A lot will berate me for my foolishness; my inconsideration. But although it was a regrettable action, I can’t help but admit that if you strip the regrets and the disappointment, I’m actually glad of what I did. I actually believe that what I did resulted to more good than harm – for me and my work, even for my sanity.

 

depression460What the heck am I talking about? Simple. I just went NCNS (no call, no show) from work the day before my day-off. You could also call it AWOL (absence without leave). And although I was perfectly aware of the protocol, I disregarded it, doing things my own way. My reason? I don’t want to add insult to injury by giving a lie, however conceivable, to my planned absence. I wasn’t absent because I had some excusable sickness. I was absent because I simply wanted to. Because I felt that my sanity demands it. I know the consequences of my absence. I knew what would be affected. I was prepared to face it. I accepted the consequences. Furthermore, I knew that no serious part of my job would be compromised. Heck! The company or queue could survive a day (or night) without me. 

 

Continue reading “a rare moment of insanity (and irresponsibility)”

Chapter 3

Sabi ni Bob Ong, sino daw ang misteryoso: ang tao na hindi mo alam ang pangalan pero alam mo ang takbo ng isip at talambuhay o ang tao na alam mo ang pangalan, edad, trabaho pero bukod dun eh wala ng iba pa?

I’m afraid I belong to the first category. Sabi nga ng kaibigan ko abnormal daw ako dahil ang taas ng self-disclosure ko. Kapag binasa mo ang blogs ko makikita mo dun ang hinagpis ko sa love life, sa trabaho, sa pamilya, sa pag-aaral at sa kung ano-ano pa. kasabay  nito ang mga opinyon ko sa bagay-bagay na nangyayari sa bansa at sa mundo.

Madami sa kanila ang nagugulat na kaya ko ipagsabi sa buong mundo ang buong kwento at detalye ng buhay ko. Pero siguro kasi kilala nila ako. Maliban sa picture ko na makatotohanan (na papalitan ko na), wala ng iba pang inpormasyon sa blogs ko na makapagsasabi na ako nga ang may akda ng mga yan, na ako nga si A.A.C.G. kilala lang ako bilang elleica. Yun na yun. Wala nga sa blog ko ang phone number ko o edad ko o totoong pangalan ko. Ni pangalan ng kompanya ko wala. Hindi ko rin pinapangalan ang mga tao na nakkwento ko.

So hindi ba misteryoso ako? For all my self-disclosure, am I not mysterious enough? Yes you know my life, but then do you know who I really am – details and all. Kaya nga ang tanong, sino ba ang taong mas nakakakilala sa yo? Ang mga katrabaho mo na alam lang ay ang iyong buong pangalan, address at phone number o ang masugid na taga-basa ng blog ko na alam ang pangyayari sa buhay mo at wala ng iba pa? sino ang totoong may kilala sayo?

Kaya siguro mainam na ibalik ko na lang sa pagiging anonymous, kunwari, ang blog ko. Ibalik ang picture nun anime character sa halip na totoong mukha ko. Iwasan ang links sa blog papunta sa personal social networking sites ko. Siguro iwasan na rin ang links galing sa social networking sites ko patungo sa blog (siguro lang to kasi nakakatulong pa rin sa wide readership ng blog ang links galing facebook, friendster, multiply, plurk at kung ano ano pa).

Nakakaaliw ang internet. Pwede kang makilala na hindi. Pwede kang maging ibang tao na hindi rin. Pwede ka magpanggap. Pwede ka  magpakatotoo sa sarili mo. Oo, nakakaaliw nga ang internet. Wag lang sosobra ang gamit. Magkaka DSL na kami sa mga susunod na araw. Mas madali na ang access sa internet.

Chapter 2

Sabi ni Bob Ong, mas mahirap na trabaho ang maging manunulat sapagkat kapag may naisip kang ideya o kaya nagkaroon ng ilaw ng inspirasyon, hindi mo ito pwedeng ipagpaliban. Kailangan kumilos ka agad kung ayaw mong mawala ang ideya o inspirasyon na yun. At malimit walang pinipiling panahon kung kelan uusbong ang ideya o inspirasyon.

And with that said, how many times have I passed up on the opportunity to write? The opportunity to place my thoughts into pen and paper? They said that writers always have a notebook and pen ready, so when ideas come they can jot them down. Writers are inspired by almost anything around them – it may be the simple chirp of a bird or the splendid colors of sunrise; it may be the irritating sound of car horns or the pungent smell of trash; it may be a word said by someone or a collective action witnessed somewhere. Inspiration comes anywhere, anytime at any place. It knows no bounds or limitations. And how many times has it happened that I have been inspired by some observation, some phenomenom around me, with words springing to my mind like colors springing forth from a painter’s skilled hands only to lose that moments inspiration because I had no means nor patience to put those words into writing. But the time is past to regret such lost opportunities. We can only hope for more.

I haven’t yet finished reading Bob Ong’s Stainless Longanisa. But so far I am learning a lot. I have learned that being a writer is indeed a hard job and I have learned that each writer, no matter if the idea is not that unique or original, still has their own style of writing or putting thoughts into words. While I read his book, I am amazed by how easy it is to read his writing; how he can easily communicate using the vernacular language with no care as to the sentence structure or the choice of words. I wonder though if I could ever achieve such freedom in my style. If I could ever write in such a way that my words would all seem like one seamlessly woven thread – easy to follow. I’m afraid that my words or my compositions are not as good. That I tend to resort to high falluting words which I’ve picked up from the books I’ve read. And sometimes I wonder if I could ever achieve that manner of easily conveying ideas or words to my readers.

But then time allows us to practice and practice makes us perfect. Or rather develops our skills. Time will come then when I shall be able to write in a way that is publishable; a way that is easy to read.

chapter 1

Matagal ko na gustong maging manunulat. Bata pa lang ako alam ko nang magiging writer ako balang araw. Nung elementary, akala ko ang ladas na tatahakin ng aking buhay ay ang landas ng isang manunulat. Subalit nakakatawa ang buhay, may iba-iba itong plano para sa atin.

~*~

Mahirap pala talaga magsulat sa Tagalog gamit ang MS Word. An daming pula at an daming auto-correct na words. At kahit nakakahiya mang aminin na mas sanay ako magsulat sa Ingles, (at mas bihasa), still, pilit ko pa rin sinusulat ito sa Tagalog at iniiwasan mauwi sa Taglish.

~*~

Pagkatapos ng elementary, na-train ako na maging isang scientist. Di ko kinakaila na magaling ako noon sa Math, Science at English. Kaya nabigyan ako ng opportunidad na mag-aral sa Philippine Science High School at pinagpala naman na makapasok sa eskwelahan na to. At dahil magandang pakinggan ang ideya na ikaw ay isang iskolar na sumisweldo (may stipend kasi), tinaggap ko ang opportunidad na yon. Hindi ko alam na pinipili ko na pala  ang isang landas ng buhay ko. Pinipili ko na pala maging isang scientist. No return trip na pala to dahil kasama pala sa kontrata namin ay ang pagpili ng isang science-related course sa college. Kaya nauwi sa BS Biology ang kurso ko.

Kung sa bagay may mga Pisay students nga naman na naging writers. Isa na dito ang sikat na si Jessica Zafra. Pero wala pa rin akong naging kahit anong training sa pagsusulat. Ang tanging meron ako ay ang desire na magsulat.

~*~

Nakakahiya na to. An dami sa mga sinulat ko sa taas ang may mga katagang Ingles na di ko man lang ma-translate sa Tagalog. Subalit pakiramdam ko pa rin na dapat Tagalog talaga ang entry na to. Bakit? Malalaman mo sa mga susunod pa na paragraphs.

~*~

Matapos ang college, iisipin mo na either magiging doctor ako, teacher or researcher. Yun naman ang kinahahantungan ng mga BS Bio eh. Pero sa panahon ngayon may isa pang pwedeng trabaho after Bio. Call center agent. Oo. Nasa call center ako, taga-troubleshoot ng mga computer ng mga non-techie na customers. An layo sa pinag-aralan ko. Pero mas malayo pa rin sa gusto ko talagang maging – ang isang manunulat.

Minsan nagtyatyaga nalang ako sa mga blogs ko. DIto na lang inilalabas ang mga ideya na gusto ko ma-publish o mabahagi sa mundo. Pero sa loob-loob ko gusto ko parin maging manunulat sa isang dyaryo o magasin o di kaya makagawa ng isang libro.

Nabasa ko pa lang ang chapter 2 ng Stainless Longanisa ni Bob Ong. Kaya pala, sabi mo. Oo, kaya ganito ang tono ko ngayon. Kahit na normally Ingles ako mag-isip at magsulat, na-impluwensyahan ako ng Tagalog na pagsusulat ni Mr. Ong. (Parang weird – Mr. Ong.)

Sa mga sinulat ni Bob Ong sa librong ito, masasabi ko na sobrang naka-relate ako. Sa pagkwento nya pa lang tungkol sa pangongolekta ng mga libro na hindi naman nababasa, sa pagbili ng mga libro ng hindi sikat na “authors” at sa mga hangarin nya na magsulat ng libro.

Hindi ko pa tapos ang libro nya. Matatapos ko ata ito ngayon tutal day-off ko naman. Pero sa mga unang chapters pa lang, nagising nya muli ang hangarin ko na magsulat. Ang hangarin ko na maging isang writer.

Ngayon wala na ako sa iskwelahan. Nasa tunay na mundo na ako na hindi na nalilimita ng apat na sulok ng classroom. Kung tutuusin pwede ko na magawa ang kahit na anong gusto ko. Ma-pursue ang kahit na anong pangarap na ninais ko. Hindi naman siguro bawal na hangarin ko maging writer at tuparin ko ito kahit na BS Bio ang tinapos ko. Sabi nga sa UP, “Do not let your education interfere with your learning”.

Sa madaling salita, kahit BS Bio ka man, kung gusto mo maging writer, kaya mo. Hindi dahil iba ang kurso na tinapos mo sa pangarap na gusto mong maabot eh hindi mo na maaabot ang iyong pangarap.

Pano ko ba tatapusin to? Hmm.. Siguro mainam na sabihin ang ABANGAN.

ABANGAN ANG SUSUNOD NA KABANATA.

random thoughts on dreams

Sigh.

I guess all of us have our own dreams and ambitions in life but when we grow up we realize that the dreams of childhood are more complicated to achieve than what we were led to believe. I mean I know that in each and everyone of us there is a kid who still wishes he grew up to be an astronaut, an astronomer, a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, a broadcaster, a soldier, a teacher, a businessman, etc.

Yet when we got to face the world, we realized that we had responsibilities to attend to, that life was not as good as we thought it was, that opportunities were not as many as we expected them to be and that everything is so damned complicated than what we initially imagined. So in the end we are forced to relegate this dreams to a place in our head called Neverland, and we are forced to face life, with resignation in our faces and the steeled determination to accept whatever it throws us just so we could survive.

The few who dare to brave the odds and pursue their dreams either succeed (if they really put their whole hearts into it) or fail (if they are along the way, dissuaded from their cause). And for us who are now in this crossroad, we are left wondering whether we become one of the brave ones or we stick to the safe path of practicality.

Indeed it is a complicated life that we are in. Much complicated than what we have been led to believe in when we were just kids, innocent of the atrocities of the world and full of hope for a bright future.

Note: This was part of my e-mail to a friend at work when we were discussing what we wanted to become instead of TSRs.

On Dreams and Regrets

I am a dreamer. I guess like everybody else, I dream of being rich and famous; of travelling to exotic locations in the world; of having my own mansion with my own majestic view of the valley and my own swimming pool. I do have days when I like day-dreaming of things that does not hold a hint of seriousness for me in the sense that they are not really part of the goals I want to achieve. Or in other words, they are impossible for me, since for me, they are just that – dreams. I also have days wherein I dream of things I do want to achieve such as a fulfilling job, a loving husband and well-raised kids. These are my goals in life which I would further break down into details in terms of short, mid and long term goals. Now these are the kind of dreams that I know are possible because I will make them not just dreams but reality as well.

Then there are those days when I dream of what could have been; when I think of past events in my life wherein a different outcome would have happened had I made a different decision or did a different thing. I guess we all have our moments when we think about the what if’s in life. What if I didn’t go to that school and pursued the kind of education I have now? What if I didn’t lend that so large a sum to that person and instead have invested the money some other way? What if I remained in my own social niche and pursued something else instead of totally uprooting my life to pursue what I am doing now? What if I had taken that offer to go to this place? This company? This country? this university? There are days when we dream of all the what if’s of life.

I think it is alright to dream of the what if’s. To dwell on them, I believe is a different matter entirely. Dwelling too much on the what if’s of life makes us wish that it was that other option we’ve taken or that other decision we’ve made. It makes us wish for it so hard that we become unhappy with the choice that we have now. And this is what we now call regret.

Regret, I believe, is a normal part of life. It is normal for any sane individual to have regrets in life and I believe this is something that we cannot really avoid. I think that without regret, we won’t learn any lessons and we won’t improve as a person. There are indeed times when the other decision would have really been better; when the grass is really greener on the other side of where we’re at. At this point, if we regret the decision we’ve made that led us to the not so green side of the grass, then we can learn from the experience so that the next time around, we would know how to distinguish which grass is indeed greener.

Then again, after we’ve learned the lesson that led to us having regrets, then it is thus befitting that we live with the decision we’ve made or the path we’ve taken. The grass in the other side may indeed be greener, but who said that we cannot make the grass where we’re at as green or if not even greener than the other side. It all boils down then to what we do with the decision we made – whether we decide to live by it and do the best we can to make the most of it or if we forever wallow in regret and wishful longing of what could have been thereby forgoing the actual choice we made.

I know this is a hard truth to swallow. I have my own bagful of regrets I could share. I admit I have my own moments wherein I wished I could have done something else, decided something else, said something else, tried something else. But then at the end of the day, the ultimate loser will be ourselves if we let our minds wallow in self-pity over what could have been; if we stressed ourselves over what we could have done.

Bottomline is: let’s just simply make the best of what we have now, learn from the reason why we are having regrets over this one, and do our best the next time around. J I know it’s better said than done but we could at least try.