Thursday, March 29, 2012

Series of fortunate and not-so fortunate events

As my blog dwelt around in an empty space probably enjoying its undisturbed phase, I had to dodge all the kicks and punches thrown by this final period of the semester. Apparently, it would explain the reason why I haven't posted any blog post for the past few weeks. Let me thank God first that all the defense and project presentations were all done. I thought they would never end. 

Perhaps a particular Information Technology student would think that school works  sometimes appear to have been placed in an infinite loop where a block of code does not make the given condition in the while-loop statement false sending the whole program in a continuous running state. Anyway, I still can't enjoy summer because I still have a few exams left to take until Saturday. The day after that is a call for celebration. I hope to end my first year in my new school with a blast. The positive kind of blast, I should say. 

There were a few things that happened these past weeks that I would like to share with you guys. Some are fortunate events and others are not so fortunate. I guess that is what life is mostly about, sometimes it's a piece of crap and some other times, it's otherwise.


It was the day when I felt that my heart was going to jump out of my chest while waiting for Shiek and the others to arrive with our system documentation. We were running late and the panelists were already waiting in the defense area. I was sweating like a pig as I tried to calm myself down. I was walking around hoping that the panelists wouldn't live. I called Shiek many times just to check where they were at and how soon were they going to arrive. 

At the back of my mind, I knew there was nothing else I could do to speed them up. I was helpless. We were helpless. All I could do was wait and it was one of the most nerve-racking wait ever.

The group was 40  minutes late but despite the delay caused by our own mistakes,  I was thankful that the panelists did not lose their patience of waiting. We did several mistakes both in the system and in the documentation. Personally, I was disappointed that I was not able to get the grade that I wanted to but then again, like what I always say, things happen. Looking at the brighter side, we passed and the grade that we got wasn't bad at all. Most importantly, we learned a very valuable lesson about procrastination, initiative and team-work.


One day, my mom told me that our doberman is sick. She lost her appetite and she has never been lethargic like that. She was just laying on the ground displaying an apparent pain and discomfort. Of course, everybody was worried. Thank God mom sent her to the vet. This afternoon, I got home from school and mom told me that the vet thinks that our dog may not seem to be in a good condition but whatever she's going through is not fatal.

Still waiting for the results of the vet's examination and I have all my prayers hoping for the best.


My batch mates in my former school will soon be graduating and I am left behind. If I didn't stop my education, I could have been one of them who would be marching on stage but I still have approximately two years left before I finish college. I know being jealous is not going to bring me any good but as a human being, I do feel jealous sometimes.

Anyway, I feel happy for them and I wish them all the best. God has placed me in this situation for a purpose and I have no doubts about his plan. He knows what's best for me so I trust him.    : )


I have mentioned in one of my blog posts that Physics has always been on my list of the most difficult subjects but then, I feel like I have acquired something that somehow managed to increase my scores in the last two quizzes that I took. Maybe, I became more focused and determined to improve my scores and nothing else.

I really wanted to make my professor proud and most importantly, myself. Whenever I get high scores or passing scores in subjects such as Physics, it gives me a boost of confidence reminding me that I can do anything for as long as I want it and work hard for it.


In my Communication Arts subject, I had to undergo a mock job interview which was considered as the Final Exam. Not that I am bragging but my nerves weren't shaking that much most probably because I have undergone a couple of job interviews before and those experiences, I believe molded my confidence.

Several minutes later, after my turn in being interviewed, the grades were announced and I got a PERFECT SCORE. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Journey to the Top

Photo taken by: Ms. Addie Zaballero
“A miracle is something that fills the soul with peace. Sometimes it manifests itself in the form of a cure, or a wish granted. It doesn’t matter. The end result is that, when the miracle occurs, we feel a profound reverence for the grace God has granted us”. After reading Paulo Coelho’s personal definition of a miracle, then I should say I have just experienced another miracle in my life. A miracle that almost led me to incessantly jump for joy (I am relieved I did not or else it would’ve been embarrassing), a miracle that caused me to send a million thanks to God and most importantly, it was a miracle that filled peace in my soul.

I was giddy while I was glued on my seat, I thought I was going to faint and drop on the floor unconscious. My heart was beating so fast I had to take a deep breath every few seconds. If someone took a picture of me at that very moment, I would’ve looked like I just finished a marathon as droplets of sweat trickled down my face. Scenes of moments earlier in the day suddenly flashed before my eyes. I remembered having 44 minutes left before I submitted my essay. I was thinking whether or not I made the right decision of having my essay printed out right away instead of consuming the remaining time to see if I could make it any better. Despite all this, I still managed to say a short prayer, minutes before they proclaimed the winner. I bowed my head down, closed my eyes and paid no attention to the noise around. With my hands tightly held against each other, I said, “God, I have grown so much as a writer and I am thankful you have given me this opportunity to compete but I have been driving on the losing lane since my grade school years so please let me win this time.”

          As I was about to finish my prayer, Charmaine, one of the Think Quest representatives of our school, sat beside me and began to pat my back to comfort me. She asked me if I was nervous and I nodded with such discomfort. I tried to utter a word but the fear of losing somehow took control of my whole body that I couldn’t move a muscle. A few seconds before the winner was announced, I felt like the time has stopped and the noise has turned down. It was the moment of truth, the truth that could either make me or break me. The champion was about to be called. A few seconds passed, STI Global City was announced, loud and clear. I could hear the audience cheering and clapping for my victory. My hands were shaking uncontrollably as I bowed my head down once again and I told myself “God, thank you”. I stood up quickly with my fist held high and a smile painted clearly on my face. I was so happy the Guinness Book of World records should proclaim me as the happiest guy in the world. I walked briskly towards the stage with Ms. Dina, my trainer and cheerfully received our award.

          Being in a state of euphoria is like flying in the bright firmament of the earth and that’s exactly how I felt when I was proclaimed champion. Not only did I make myself proud, but my trainer who has worked very hard to develop my skill, my school and my parents as well. Looking back at my winning moment, I finally understood what Paulo Coelho meant when he said “A miracle is something that fills the soul with peace” because I did not just feel bliss flowing through my veins, I have also felt peace hugging my soul. These past few days have become a stressful ride as I tried to silent negative thoughts scurrying in and out my head regarding the possible outcomes of the competition. However, after being declared champion, my soul is now swimming in the ocean of silence and my heart has never been relaxed. It has been a dream of mine to win a National Competition in writing and that dream that was once floating around in my sleep has occurred before my very eyes.

         Dreams do come true my dear friends. I am one of the many people who can prove that dreams could be turned into reality. Do you have a dream in mind that you have been hoping to achieve? You can do it. Start believing in yourself, work hard for your dreams and the next thing you know, your dream is already in front of you waiting for you to take it.




Friday, March 9, 2012

My Winning Piece

     "No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door. The purpose of light is to create more light, to open the eyes of people;to reveal the marvels around." A quote from Paulo Coelho's book "Like a Flowing River" speaks so much about a person' ability to illuminate his or her genuine and distinct character in the pool of diversity and differences. I believe we are all carrying our lamps with us, lit by a small fire representing our identity and uniqueness that could brighten even the darkest path we encounter along the way.

     I can still vividly recall that day when I had to use my own lamp. Like a dusk covering the night sky, I was blanketed with a sorrow-filled darkness when I had to stop my education. I was walking along the highway of life, living happily with a sense of satisfaction when a roadblock suddenly made all my dreams vanished into thin air. My parents were going through a very tough time on the financial lane. As a son, a brother, I knew what I had to do. I did not want to add to the incessant flow of problems mercilessly beating my family down. I knew, despite my inability to provide monetary help, I should take action by all means necessary, if not completely eliminate the problems but at least to lessen the burden of my parents. I was 18 years old back then;a young lad who still found Spongebob Squarepants was funny. However, Spongebob's humor failed to put a smile on my face when I finally made up my mind. One day, right after my little sister's recognition in school, I told my mom that I was ready to stop my education. 

     I was all giddy as I completed the sentences with reluctance. During that time, I thought that my only place in the world was school and that when you take me away from it is like taking a goldfish out of its bowl. I remember how fast my heart beat was when I told her that I would drop my books and find a job. At the back of my mind, I knew finding a job wasn't easy as uttering it but I wanted to make my mom feel better. So, despite my lack of knowledge about getting employed, I managed  to convince her that I could somehow help the family out. As I look back at that significant event of my life, I realized that was the moment when I was in the process of figuring out how I could use my lamp that I was carrying my whole life on my advantage. I didn't exactly know who I was or what I could do as a human being and how far I could go when it came to taking risks but I still went with the flow having no idea what tomorrow was in store.

     The call center industry was as prominent as Patrick Star (Spongebob's best friend) and so I decided to give it a try. I had the biggest confidence when it came to spoken communication and so I thought I could prosper in the call center industry. I have never been so determined in my life and the only thought in my mind was to get a job and start earning money. Nevertheless, it wasn't easy as I thought it would be. In fact, I have never been into a job interview before so I have no idea where I got the audacity to even set foot in Business Process Outsourcing Company with zero knowledge about the process of a job interview. I had my resume at hand, wearing a formal attire, waiting for my name to be called as I sweat profusely in the holding area where all applicants waited. I looked around and saw a number of applicants wanting the same position I was applying for. They all looked professional and experienced and I looked exactly like a person who didn't have any idea what he got himself into. I looked lost. I just wanted to get out of there and maybe try a less formal or less serious job. Perhaps, a service personnel in a fast food chain, a barker in Guadalupe or a security guard in a mall, anything but this pressure-driven job. 

     All these thoughts scurried in and out of my head as I tried to compose myself. All of a sudden, my name was called. It was time to lay everything on the line. It was a now or never moment where my decision would either spiral me down into an abyss of failure or bring me to the highest pedestal I have ever taken myself. I was asked questions I have never been asked before like how do I cook Adobong Manok or can I tell something about myself. My closest friends didn't even ask me to tell something about myself when we were just getting to know each other. We naturally knew each other without asking that question and all of a sudden someone would forcefully want to know something about me? Anyway, it was a miracle that I answered every question without losing my confidence. I was aware that there were several people outside who did their best like what I did. I knew I was in a battlefield. I was in a competition where the best would stand the tallest among the rest, however, I wasn't thinking about outrunning my competitors. Actually, I was more concerned with my primary goal of being hired. I was determined to impress the interviewer by being myself and using my distinct  and unique personality to get the job. After going through the grueling interviews, I was hired, surprisingly. 

     Despite the presence of an intense competition, I was able to get my very first job. Needless to say, I was a happy-camper. Now, given the fact that it was my first time to go hunting for a job, how was I able to succeed? Despite the number of experienced people around me, how did I manage to get a position? Impossibility was written all over my face but how did I manage to wash it off? The answer is simple. I was finally able to light up my own lamp. I figured out what I can do as a person and how I can use my uniqueness and my God-given abilities made just for me to be triumphant. I was clueless and I felt like I was walking in the dark but the light of my lamp which represents my unique character paved way to my victory. I learned to believe in myself and to use my life experiences that designed my identity in every situation I get into.

     It is a common knowledge that we are living in a world where change is as normal as the sun rises and sets and job competitions can never be tougher. Despite of it all, we must learn to believe that we are created to succeed and that everything we need to be victorious is all within ourselves. It is just a matter of discovering it and using it on our advantage. Failure will always be there along the way but failing doesn't mean it's the end of our lives and that we will never have the chance to succeed anymore. It is a stepping-stone towards a brighter and better future. Patrick Star once said, "Everything is going to be ok in the end, if it's not ok then its not the end.".

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Journey to my Very First Writing Competition Victory

     I was feeling giddy when I dragged myself out of bed at around 4 in the morning. Somehow, I couldn't manage to get the excitement rolling as I tried to picture how my writing would turn out during the competition proper. Maybe because I stayed so late at night due to my adrenaline reaching its highest peak caused by too many pictures of possibilities scurrying in and out of my head like getting a writer's block or a topic that's out of my league or the training I went through wasn't enough. I have always been the type of guy who tires himself by over-thinking things too much and expects be a big slap on the face whenever the outcomes of a particular situation turned out to be completely different from what my mind made me think of.

     Nevertheless, the experience brought by the Essay Writing Competition that day was somehow similar to the previous writing competitions I have joined. Once again, it successfully made me lose appetite, it shook my nerves like it was never shaken before and it made me pray so hard people thought it was my last day on earth.

     The clock struck exactly at 7 am when I arrived in school and I went straight to the faculty room to look for my trainer. She instructed me to find her in the teacher's lounge so that we could do our final training session before the actual competition begins. We were going over the pointers she taught me in our previous meetings and we also went back to the essay samples I did to recall what changes must be done and how to develop the sentences better. At the back of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities of winning or losing. If there's one thing I am passionate about, that would be writing and if there's a competition I really don't want to lose, that would be an Essay Writing Competition. 

     Ms. Dina left me in the library for a few minutes and told me to review my notes. I was trying to focus on what must be done but I was also busy imagining myself receiving the trophy on stage while the audience clapped enthusiastically for my victory. I could see my friends at the back row shouting my name, sharing my most awaited victory.

     However, I was called back to earth when Ms. Dina came in the door of the library and told me to come down with her to the competition venue. And I knew, it was time. It was time to give everything I got and lay everything on the line. I was determined to win. I wasn't aiming for second or third place, I was aiming to be the best. I don't remember winning writing competitions before however, I always make it to a point that I learn from every experience knowing that it could help me develop and someday have my time under the spotlight. As I drew closer to the competition venue, I was praying to God to let this day be the day where my talent is recognized.

     The writing battle began and as the seconds ticked away, I readily applied the technique Ms. Dina advised me. A technique to make sure that my essay is sensible and coherent at the same time. Word after word came rushing into my head and I continued to type them with such quickness. I got scared when I found myself stuck in the middle of the construction but I didn't let a second be put into waste and so I pushed myself further hoping I could go beyond what I expected of myself and I did.

     I came back on track and as the other contestants have their essays printed out, I was there, still glued on my chair aiming for perfection. Then, it was just me and the girl on the other side of my computer table. I was asking myself how the others finished so fast when I was still in the process of editing my work. I immediately brushed off the question and got back to the thinking lane until I had the final period of my essay typed. I saved my work and had it printed out for the judges to criticize. As the contest facilitators handed my final work, I was aware that everything was out of my hands now. I came out from the room feeling like my energy was sucked out of me. I was so giddy I wanted to go to bed. I proceeded straight to the teacher's lounge and asked for Ms. Dina. I told her all about my essay and she seemed confident with what I did.

     I was also confident but along with it were my doubts.

     It was 12 in the afternoon. After taking the free lunch the school provided, all I needed was to wait for the results. Hours have passed, I was on the gym waiting anxiously for the results. The wait reminded me of what the competition asked the writers to write about. We were asked to write about the unpredictable results of competitions and how it affects a person. 

     Well, first of all, competitions drive me crazy!

     I mean, I appreciate the adrenaline and anxiety but if you mix these emotions together, it could result to total insanity. 

     Anyway, I waited more than 7 hours for the result to be announced and let me tell you, it was the longest wait I have ever made in my life. I waited so long I became very temperamental my friends who also waited for the results couldn't talk to me. I would either just nod my head to answer a yes or no question or simply remain silent as if nobody was talking to me at all.

     The 3rd and 2nd places were called and it was the time for the champion to be announced. I bowed my head down, I started to breathe heavily and whispered to myself "God its all in your hands now". Despite the cheers surrounding me, I was in deep silence. I was getting myself ready for the worst case scenario. Then after a few seconds of heavily breathing, my school was called. I lifted my head up and jumped so high I thought I was going to fly. I hurt my right knee though because of the jump I made which in fact destroyed the moment for a second but pure joy rushed through my veins and I somehow managed to brush the pain off.  As I was limping my way on stage, I kept telling myself "I won" as the audience cheered for my victory.

     I couldn't describe what I was feeling at the moment but I guess that's how it feels like to actually win a competition. I was more than excited to get the trophy and my medal. I was smiling the whole time and I couldn't ask for a better moment than that.

(photo taken from: