Aug 28, 2016

Dreams and little corners

We all have a share of moments in our younger years when someone would ask us, what do you want to be when you grow up? 

1. My father suggested to me that I could take up journalism so I could end up like those people rendering the nightly news. That was how I first heard about the word 'journalism'. Well, 'journalism' sounded cute and classy. So, I began to be curious about what these people do. Then I marveled the idea maybe I could also appear in television and followed what they had been doing. There was somehow prestige to it.  But as you grew older, I realized I did not want to appear in television and perhaps they were just reading. I had the idea maybe I would like to know more who were writing what these people in front of television were reading? 

My attention was diverted to newspapers, magazines, books. I began loving the letters and the written word and how they can evoke emotions. And then the most complex part was how they can be part of a broader concept called communication. Since then, I have always been curious about writing, about communicating, about describing the exact picture, about getting the narrative and capturing the real emotions (but I would know eventually I can only come close to them) and telling the 'truth'.

Journalism was my first degree, hoping it would give me the tools. I still use them now. I try to update and relearn the techniques as much as there is an opportunity. I miss Writing. I miss immersing myself with words and hoping they can transform others. I also miss Editing. The way you play with words and come up with the right ones and trying to keep a simple but elegant composition.  

2. Fast forward to college, I got to learn of other people- those who have less. I wanted to get to know them better - their issues, the things they struggle, the things they celebrate. It became clear to me that these people - much as they need to improve their conditions - they need to have a voice so they can be heard. I was willing. And so development work had become a promise and I could use 'sociology' as my frame to help make their voice louder and stronger.  

3. Everytime I visited University of the Philippines Los Banos, there was such a sense of myself wanting to work and settle in the place. I learned about the campus during my college years when I habitually visited a friend every time there was a long weekend. The simplicity of the place, the greens. It made me feel secure. I promised to myself someday I would work in this kind of environment. I could become a professor in the university or I can apply for any offices near the area. I remember a job prospect that was almost perfect and I still recall the excitement I felt only to fail me at the end. Hmm, I did my best. 

I still dream of myself in a room with a big window with a nice view of trees and greens with the sound of chirping birds (char!) and me, writing and learning the ways of the world. I dreamt of becoming a scientist in my own little way, in my own little corner in that place. 

Back to present. Did all those dreams get at least a dose of reality? I do not know how to answer, to be fair. At the very least, I can 'rationalize' everything - and I still do write and I am in a development work and yes, I still have a window with a view, but this time it is all cold towering concrete and God knows what other people are doing across my room. 

So what do I do?  In times when you get mature, and you think about your first loves and have not really gotten much of it, you begin thinking maybe it is worth to have the second try. 

1. I miss writing. I miss communications. I miss the writing that matters. I miss the kind of writing that pierces the hearts. I miss the writing and images that it conjures. I miss writing drafts. I miss the works, the research, the conversations before the writing. The legwork to it. The analysis to it. The plagiarism that you should avoid. Your values and biases that you should recognize before you write. Both the essay and the hard facts. I miss to be read.  I miss the immersion. I miss the STRUGGLE. 

2. I miss talking to 'real people'. I miss writing about them. I miss writing about them and their aspirations. I miss observing them and engaging them. I miss 'fighting' for them. I miss hearing their stories. I cannot work in the desk and writing about 'real people'. I just cannot. 

3. And then I miss the idea of little corner and its endless possibilities. I still believe I can still do it, with a huge amount of preparation and a silver dust of luck. I already have a little corner here and I have never been more grateful. But the heart yearns of the first loves. Yes, first loves never die.

Aug 8, 2016

Rejection Feels

Kailangan ko yata maisulat lang ito para maalis ang sumpa. Marami yata akong mga 'rejection' feels lately.

Kanina lamang. Nag apply ako sa US Embassy. Gusto ko sanang mag moment sa New York. Ayon na rin sa encouragement ng aking bff. 'Life Changing' daw. haha. Sige na nga. Try ko. Bakasyon lang.

Ok na sana kase hindi naman haggard ang pagapply. Pero ewan ko ba kung ano ang nangyari. Confident naman ako. Sa Q& A, sabi ko as tourist. Sabi ko sa New York. Sabi ko I work sa Seoul.
Pero sabi ng immigration officer, as per the reason identified, hindi pa daw sufficient ang stay ko sa Korea to go to US dahil hindi nila maestablish na babalik ako after my travel. Say whut?!

To be fair ang galing niya. Direct to the point yung line of questioning. Hindi biro ang maging immigration officer, I guess. I feel a major reason is my period of residency in Seoul. Dalawang beses siya nagtanong about it. Pati annual salary ko. He encouraged me to apply in the Philippines. So ang siste mag papa appoint pa ako sa Manila just to get a US visa.

Siyempre, I got watered down. It could have been exciting. Sayang yung almost 8k! But I guess my travel to US will be set aside muna unless there is an official business travel.


Three weeks ago, I enroled in what could be my second Korean class. This time, sa isang office sa building namin.  Pretty convenient for me. I submitted my application, applied for lower beginner class, and I had the entrance exam. This was to verify if I can be 'fit' in the lower beginner class or be demoted or promoted. 

The exam was a bit hard, and after a week, I learned I was in the waiting list. It means I have to wait for a person to withdraw the class so I can get in. But it also means I got rejected. Nakita ko yung pangalan ko sa listahan, ako yung pang no. 16! Fifteen (15) ang kinuha. 

For one thing, parang nasira ang schedule ko. It was supposed to be my Saturday afternoon routine at least until October. Given this circumstance, I guess mag self-learn muna ako. Of course there are many classes around the city and some of them are quite pricey. Ito kase at least free and you get to mix with a lot of foreigners din.

But lately, I realized that with my both work and personal schedules, I believe hindi ko din naman siya maeenjoy. There is this rule that I can only be absent thrice in the class and after that they will get my deposit money and probably I may be missing a lot of Saturday classes din because of my weekend schedules (i.e may three weekends in August is full already!) So, personal effort lang muna and immersion sa mga kung saan saan ang peg - just to further familiarize Hangeul.  


Minsan sa buhay buhay, hindi mo maiiwasan ang feeling na feeling mo na out of place ka, na reject ka ng isang grupo, na shut off ka or simply you do not belong with them. I can honestly say hindi nila intention yun or simply the 'leader' of that group must have felt na I can be so busy. So ano ang pinuputok ng bochi ko. I got invited once and I expected to be invited again. You see, this group has its regular monthly lunch out (colleagues including in the other offices too). So when I saw them in the same venue where me na my other colleagues would be taking lunch. Casual lang naman yung encounter. But deep inside me, there is this feeling that I got out of their monthly lunch set up. 

But you know what was sad about it. I felt like I deserved an explanation from them. I felt entitled at some point. This 'pride' chicken, this 'ego'. It was really not about them at all. To be honest, most of their conversations I could not relate. It was about me. And I felt surprised to myself why did I have to feel that way. Somehow, kahit saan mo tingnan, ako yung may mali sa pananaw kong ito. I was childish. I felt I got rejected. Ayoko lang sila makita. All the more that I do not want to be with them at all. 


Sana sa mga susunod na araw at buwan, reverse naman ang ganap, di ba? Pero ganoon naman talaga. The most important thing is what you do with it. Mas emotional ako doon sa out of place issue. May the Divine forgive me for being unreasonable. 'Fuck this Feeling' sometimes. Siguro, it is one way of telling me,  grow up. You do not need to look out for them. There are just so many people and things that you begin overlook and they matter more than you know. 

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