On having a Job I do not Love

Have you ever felt like your days are never enough? Have you had nights when you keep postponing bedtime because you feel like you haven’t done anything during the day that made you happy? No matter how significant your job is for society, have you ever felt like you’d rather spend your time doing something else? Have you? I have. Everyday, for the past 6 years.

Today is a conversation about having a job I do not love. I will be sharing about how I started it, keep up with it, survive it, ace it and how I plan my my future with it. Read ahead!

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LAUNCHING: Project Batang Hilongosnon

During my birthday last year, I promised that I’m moving my advocacy for Education forward this year. I imagined that I would launch it by the time I celebrate my 2020 birthday, which is this December. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us all to the edges.

Did you know that as you are sitting comfortably in your study table ready for your online classes everyday, there are students and teachers;

• Who are stopping their studies because they cannot afford online classes?
• Who are climbing mountains just for mobile signal?
• Who do not have the penny to even pay for an hour in the internet cafe to download their study modules?
• Who do not have the gadgets to watch the videos of their learning modules?

That’s the reality of many Filipinos in the new normal. Not everyone has the privilege that you have. We must extend our hands to help everyone. Not tomorrow or next year, but NOW.

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My Berklee Online Journey

I have unofficially graduated from Berklee College of Music through their online course entitled “Introduction to Music Theory”. While this sounds celebratory and extravagant, I must say that my Berklee journey has resurfaced a lot of the what-ifs of my life. That is why today, other than spilling some tips and tricks to successfully complete a Berklee online course, I will also be confessing my struggles as a frustrated musician because I know that my struggles are not unique. I know somebody needs to hear them, be encouraged by them, and most especially, be enraged by them.

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Dear Strange One

I’m one of the odd and strange ones, and I think that’s okay.

One huge reason of having a personal blog is to take my readers to my journey with me. I want to share every bliss, every heartache, every lesson learned, every failures, and every success to every reader who cares. Why? Because I want to remind everyone that you are not alone, that you got an ally in me, and that I am with you in this journey. Today, I am again sharing a part of my journey that will again make me look vulnerable. A part of my journey that will once again unveil my struggles. I am being brave today in the hopes that this honest confession will also give courage and company to those who need it the most.

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Yes, We will not Stop

Everyday, in the past 4 months, I’ve constantly been depressed with all the news I read and hear. All the stories of people’s struggles and suffering all over the world have taken a toll on me, emotionally and mentally. There have been countless moments when I wanted to cave in, when I wanted to just live off-grid in order to save my sanity. However, last Friday I came across an Instagram video from the ever inspiring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. More than a video about her victory on the recently concluded US Congressional elections, it was also a video about being brave and being a constant patch of hope to people. She said; “It’s an honor to work shoulder-to-shoulder with each and everyone of you in a movement for a better world. We will not stop.” Those words rang in my ears, throbbed my heart, and reminded my consciousness about a very important lesson. It is in these trying times that we are all needed. It is in these dark times that our stands must be visible and our voices be heard. It is in these critical moments that we should continue to push forward despite the shackles of oppression and repression that bind us. These moments are turning points, and we must not stop.

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I hope You find the Courage for Self-care

I stretched the wet Skincare face mask as laid it on my bare face one night. It’s been countless months since I used a disposable face mask, and I only decided to put one on because my face was starting to have painful dry cracks because of the coldness of Spring. This happens to me quite a lot, especially during the cold seasons of Japan. This is because I always compromise on my Skin Care. I know I need them, but I don’t use moisturizing creams unless I find a zerowaste or perhaps an organic one. I don’t use moisturizing face masks as much as possible despite the sharp cold of Winter. I don’t use Toner, Face Lotion, or Sunscreen just because I couldn’t find sustainable alternatives here in Nagoya. Because of that, I tend to just suffer in silence; the pains of my dry skin cracks during Winter, my Acne, my uneven skin color, and all the others that I ever so knowingly put myself through. That night, as I finally pampered myself with a single moisturizing face mask, I couldn’t help but ask; Why am I doing this to myself?

Self-care is an alien thing to me. Not that I’ve never pampered myself before, but it was just never my priority growing up. Recently, I’ve been trying to find the courage to allow myself bit by bit of self-care. If you are here because you are in the same journey too, then I am glad to share this with you.

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This is how our Mentors save Us

Our mentors can make or break us. I’ve seen this first-hand while working as a professional in the IT industry for almost 6 years now. Apart from my own experiences, countless times I was a witness of my colleagues’ struggles at work because of unreasonable mentors. In contrast to this, I have also seen many who achieved exponential personal and career growth because they were blessed by mentors who nurtured them right. It is very rare to find mentors who will stick with you through thick and thin. Mentors who are passionate enough to bring you to the top of your game despite the long and tiring process. However, once you find one, you are definitely up for a journey full valuable lessons, a journey that you will always be grateful for.

In my journey to starting a new career in a foreign country, I did not expect to be blessed with a mentor who was willing to go through my struggles with me just so he can push me to the top of my game. Today, I will be sharing this journey with you. This story is my discovery of what real mentorship and leadership are all about. This is a story of heroes who are not wearing capes, but are still saving lives.

This story is for mentors and for those who are being mentored. May this resonates with you in whatever journey you are going through. Read ahead!

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If “Good Girls” shouldn’t be talking about Social Injustice, then I refuse to be one

When they said “Stay out of Politics so that you’ll still appear likeable to people,” my left brow raised. I will never understand why silence and blind obedience is likeable. I will never understand why I would crave to be liked by people who do not understand the importance of discussing topics like Politics and Religion. I would rather not be liked than submit to this kind of mindset.

In society where people are so used with silence and blind obedience, being vocal about Social Injustice means being different, especially when you are a girl. The term “Dalagang Pilipina” has long been interpreted by the Filipino community as being demure, silent, and being an obedient follower. That is why it wasn’t surprising that during the reign of Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray, she was bombarded by people who constantly told her to “stay out of Politics” or else it would backlash negatively on her image. Well, I’m glad that she didn’t listen.

Girls are told to just stay cute and sweet, so we stay likeable. When girls talk about bags, beauty, and shoes, nobody tells us to shut up. But when we open our mouths about critical topics, we suddenly become “Maldita.” Suddenly, we are overreacting and difficult to deal with. Our demure image suddenly vanishes, as if that matters.

Well, this article is for all the girls out there! This is me telling you to just be a badass!

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Skilled Workers remain preyed by Capitalists

The world is no longer surprised when issues on Capitalism surface. It is as if people being treated as merely money-making machines is already the norm. It is as if we all have accepted our fates that we will forever be slaves to this kind of a skewed system. The mere act of thinking about it sends me shivers of disgust. Does Capitalists even have a heart?

March 2nd of 2020, the whole Philippines was shocked by a hostage crisis. A former Security Guard of a shopping mall in Manila took 30 people as hostages, just so he can air out his grievances on his working conditions under his previous employer and uphold justice to his unjust termination. While it is right to condemn this heinous crime, it is even more heartbreaking to witness a noble person like him to resort to violence just so he can level the playground with his Capitalist bosses. It is evident in this story that this is not a criminal issue, but an issue on fair employment. Moreover, even up to this day, it is a known fact that many skilled workers all over the world are treated very poorly compared to the actual value these people bring to the table.

As a victim of the same skewed system, I feel greatly for Mr. Archie Paray, the Security Guard mentioned above. Him and me, together with billions of workers around the world actually exist, and this is our story.

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Here’s to the unsung Heroes of our Daily Lives

It was Autumn in Japan last year 2019, I walked under the colorful trees of Chikusa Park. The Gingko Trees bloomed in yellow, the Momoji were red, and all the other trees, which I do not know the names, where orange. I absolutely remember how I felt that day. I was at peace because work was finally doing fine. I sat at the Swing, smiling as I was watching the view. This view was just a mere dream when I was younger. How did I even get here? As soon as that question popped in my mind, I see countless faces of people who, in their own ways, have saved me in the past.

Recently, I’ve been nothing but grateful, because you see, a ship cannot sail without the wind. A castle cannot stand tall without a solid foundation. A bird cannot soar if it was not taught how to fly. The more I stop and look back, the more I see things clearly. Yes, we’ve made contributions ourselves, but our path was mostly built by our heroes.

Today, I am choosing gratitude. This is for those who cared. This is for those who chose to help and save. This is for those who gave. Here’s to all the unsung heroes out there.

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