The End for a Brand New Start

While it is clear that I will be ending my teaching 2-year stint with an unclear whereto just yet, I keep getting the same question of  Why? Why stop teaching? 

Teaching will always be my passion. No doubt. The years I had spent with kids and co-teachers made me love teaching more. How I entered the academe may have been a lot easier compared to others however, leaving it appeared to be far more difficult. I am not turning my back to this advocacy. It is education that changed my life! I am where I am right now, I know what I know right now because I learned from my teachers in school. They may not have taught me everything but they let me acquire the skills to learn other things. 

When my mentor told me that in making decisions, just ask one question, "What is the most important thing to you?" 

That is a very easy question to answer for me. My family. My family is the most important thing for me. It is also my passion to share my blessings to them. To give my parents their hard-earned comfort and joy of being the one on the receiving end. It is my joy to see my brothers and sisters enjoy their lives. Share whatever we have and maybe extend whatever we have to others outside our homes. 

Leaving the school and kids where I taught for two years is not easy. I did not come in as an ordinary teacher, I came in with big dreams and maybe big head as well that I can change the system in two years. 

Letting people realize that education can change our lives for the better will always be my passion. That every Filipino child gets equal access to quality education. In my two years of stay in the public school, I realized that the issue goes way beyond the four walls of the classroom. We have great and wonderful public school teachers. Passionate. Dedicated. Loving. They need support. For them to effectively teach these kids in the classroom, they need support. Not just a pat on the back but a more concrete support for them to keep going every day. Another is, everything starts at home. Everything. What happened to responsible parenthood? It will always be Values over Intelligence. No doubt, our values are formed at home.

My mission now goes beyond the four walls of the classroom.

For the meantime, I need to find that career that will enable me to support myself and my family and then hopefully it gets extended to more people.

A Letter To Myself

3:32 PM

Dear Kat,

How are you? Oopps, I shouldn't have asked that question. I know you are not really feeling well.

I can sense that your heart has been heavy for quite sometime now. Noticeably heavier this time though. I know. I know. Everything's gonna change again. Two years ago, you had seen yourself as a teacher, now, the two years is about to end and for whatever reason, you don't see yourself in the classroom anymore. Not on a daily basis, right? That's what you meant? But you still love teaching.

You thought going back to your previous life would be that easy, but the two years that had gone so fast had just brought a few challenges and now, you have doubts in your heart if you will ever get that right job for you. That one, stable and reliable job that would enable you to help and give to your family and other people. That job that would make you build that house with your sibs where your parents can live. That job that would enable you to afford plane rides that will take to many places you had dreamed of. That job that would enable you to help more people. That job that would enable you to buy real books and not rely on .epubs and .pdf files. Your eyes are too tired reading on the tablet.

Buying that book Second Chance was a very good decision, remember that part where Kiyosaki said, not all people can work on the ground level. Not all people can stay on teaching. But that not necessarily means that one stop supporting the advocacy about education in general. Sometimes, it is better to step out of the system and not wait to be chewed up and then be spitted out later on. Deciding not to be permanent public school teacher had been very easy for you to do. What's hard is leaving this school, this house and the people you had learned to love and spend your days with. Your co-teachers are amazing teachers. Your co-fellows are amazingly crazy just like you to join this ground level adventure. You survived and had grown with them within the two years. And the kids! See those kids, they hug you every time they see you, they tell you how much they love and you how they changed from being that major headache to be those kids who are very sweet, respectful and values their education so much. You have left a mark on them and they, they had not just left a mark. They had totally changed you to that somebody who is way better than you were before you met them.

Until further notice, I know that you will not stop thinking about a future job until you get one. Remember that, you are surrounded with people who wants to see you succeed in life because that is one thing you always want to see in others. They are praying for you as you keep on praying and claiming that you will get that job. Because you will. If not, that is because God has one that is allotted for you. Trust Him. He had never failed you and never will. Be still.

I know you want that ice cream. Go get one. You haven't done any workout for the week. I forgive you. But next week is a different story, so I hope not to hear anymore excuses. You had worked hard to lose so much weight and I don't want you becoming that great "bilog" again as described by your dad. The change might have been significant but you still a lot to work on. Also note that exercise increases your brain function to as much as 20%. You need all that wittiness you can have so that you can answer in your future job interviews!

I've talked so much. Arghh... Getting through with the time of the month is excruciatingly painful both physically and emotionally. It's gonna end soon. I expect you to be on a better mood soon.

Stop worrying. Everything's gonna be ok. I promise.



The Fletcher in Me

If you have watched Whiplash, for sure, you know who Fletcher in the movie is. Out of all the Oscar nominees for 2014, Whiplash is the first movie I had watched, followed by the Theory of Everything which I had to watch on installment.

Fletcher is a the last name of the antagonist in the movie Whiplash, he is the conductor/teacher for a jazz band, Shaffers and Shakers, in a certain university. He is not an ordinary teacher, he curses a lot, throws things, very strict and never ends the practice until the players get his tempo. Yet, he had gained enormous respect in the jazz music circle. He is well-renowned for his very high standards and very well-played pieces.

I had a couple of Fletchers in my life. There were really days that I would feel so down and hopeless yet this I-can-prove-you-wrong attitude in me lingers. Actually, it wasn’t. It was really the thought of as-soon-as-I-graduate-I-can-be-free idea that kept me going. They were the fletchers who would get my bag and stuff and put them all on the table, check my notebooks to see if I write on them. They were the Fletchers who would scold me at the breakfast table, eating and tears would just fall endlessly. One of them even told me, “Panget ka,” just because it came to their knowledge that I have a crush in school. They were the Fletchers who would speak so much words about my father being a failure.

They speak so much because they knew that I will never ever get discouraged, as if I had a choice. I probably had a choice back then but where would have that gotten me today? Their Fletcher attitude pushed me to go beyond my limits of being a teenager and a dreamer. For pushing me so hard, I never learned to hate them. I had always been grateful to them. They have my utmost respect. I am what I am today because of them.

There were also days that I am like Fletcher to my own kids in school. No more soft, endearing words. Tough, harsh words come out of my mouth. There were also days that I let notebooks fly, especially on the days that they aren’t on task. Judge me if you must, but if I don’t do that and don’t let the Fletcher in me out, I don’t know how to survive the classroom. Another thing is, I know they can handle it.

If I sound like Fletcher which can be so often if the situation calls for (which is very exhausting), it’s not that I don’t believe, it is with great belief that I say things or do things so you can prove me wrong because, the real achiever never gets discouraged.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Dearest Mama,

I thank God for a Godly Mom that you are. No words can best describe how wonderful of a mother you are to me and my sibs. 

We promise that we will try to give you all those things you have missed while you were growing up because life back then had been so tight. Birthday cakes. Parties. Celebrations.

We promise to give you that good life you deserve because you have always been there for us. You had been taking care of us for so many years and its about time for you to feel that you are being taken care of. 

Thank you for everything! 

We can only look back to the past and see how far our family had progressed and grown from six kids now you have additional two daughters-in-law. Soon, you'll have grandkids to attend to as well. 

I pray to God that you live a longer life. More candles to blow and many years to celebrate with you and the rest of the family. Labyu!

It's an F kind of Saturday


I got up early because of a phone call from my little cousin Justin Earl from Bicol.
"Ate Kathy, uwi ka na."
"Oo, kaso tulog pa ko eh."
"Nuarin ka mauli?" (when are you coming home?)
Patay. "Di pa sure si Ate eh. Basta uuwi ako jan. May honor ka ba?" 
"Igwa baga." (Meron daw.)
Patay ulit. "Sige, May lego ka paguwi ko. Tulog muna ulit ako ha. Labyu." 


I received an FB message.

Tin: Kat, may pasok ka today?
Me: Hmmmm. Nagtatapos lang ng apat ng modules. Bakit?
Tin: Kita sana tayo today. 
Me: Oh my. Mej BI ka pero magpapa-BI naman ako. Haha
Tin: Anong BI? 
Me: Bad influence. Sige, see you in an hour.

Ang dali ko lang kausap. 


Tinola for lunch loaded with lotsa malunggay.
J.Co overload. 
Cappucino Avocado Frapp Tre
Fried Chicken with Hainanese Rice at Paotsin

It's Super Cheat Day 


It's Pyrolympics Musical Saturday and we got to stay to watch the presentation by the United Kingdom and got this shot: 

Then I stopped taking shots and just stood there and watched, my heart beating so fast and I can't stop smiling and standing there amazed. Ignoring the noise, just glued to the flickering lights in varied shapes, colors and sizes. But after all those excitement, the skies fell dark and silent, my heart still feel likes its racing. 

Biglaang lakad talaga yung natutuloy. Endless reminiscing of college days! 

It was a Fun-filled Saturday indeed!  

Randomthoughts 03.05.2015

6:16 AM

Makapagrandom post nga, mej matagal na yung last eh.

1.       Nasa school ako ngayon, pero hindi ako magtuturo kasi ang araw na ito ay para sa “itiman ang bilog na parang itlog” in preparation for the upcoming Language Assessment Proficiency Grading at National Achievement Test. Ganito kami til next week.

2.       Pagkatapos nito, magchcheck pa ko ng papel. Ang sama ko kasi, pinag-quiz ko sila ng 8 quizzes in one sitting. Huhuhu. Wala kong choice eh. Halos tig-5 items lang naman karamihan dun.

3.       Walang mintis, nauuna ko magising sa alarm clock ko. Late na ko nakakatulog tapos nagigising pa ako  around 2 or 3am, tapos ang hirap na matulog nang malalim ulit dahil baka ma-late ako. Masakit sa ulo.

4.       I am starting to box in my other stuff. Lilipat na nga talaga ko. Mamimiss ko ang malaki kong kwarto. Ang walk-in closet at ang mga alaala ng kwartong iyon.

5.       May mga job interviews na ko. Bukas, meron pang 11PM kasi yung profile na mahahawakan ko if ever matanggap ako sa company na iyon ay US profile. Babalik na naman ako sa pang-gabing shift?

6.       Merong major job fair sa March 18 para sa amin. Wala yung target kong company L

7.       “Leave your mark” ang tagline ng aming NGO, minsan napapaisip ako, have I really left my mark in two years? But  for sure, this experience and people and kids had left their mark on me.

8.       Nung Sunday, nasa bahay lang ako ng parents ko. Usually, maaga akong bumangon at pupunta sa kusina, pero that day, late na ko nagising at tinabihan pa ko ng bunso kong kapatid. Dahil late na, pinuntahan na ko ni Mama sa higaan at niyakap ko sya nang mahigpit. Ang sarap lang.

9.       Birthday ni Mama sa Sunday, nagtatanong kapatid ko kung anong regalo naming, maghati-hati na lang daw kami. Dahil mahilig si Mama sa halaman, isa daw bibili ng paso, isa bibili ng lupa at yung isa ay bibili ng halaman. Kagaling mag-isip!

10.   Darating si Kuya Panganay sa Monday, magrerecording daw kami. Huhubels. Ang gusto ko lang naman ay pasalubong. LOL. Charot lang. Syempre, i-a-update ko pa sya about dun sa naging first meet up namin with the girlfriend of Kuya Cupcake.

Okay. Magchecheck na ko ng papel.


First of March 2015

7:22 PM

February 2015 had full of so many stories. From writing, to flowers, to museums, to disappointments, to errands, to places, to friends, to studies, and to active job-hunting.

Today is the first of March 2015, four weeks to go and my teaching contract is about to end. My idealism is being eaten up and as I go with the flow, I might just wake up corrupted already. I had gone weak and hopeless. I don't want to end up being beaten by this system.

A few more days and I still don't have a concrete plan about how will I live my life after my classroom days are over.

My father was very subtle in asking me about it earlier during lunch time. "Ano bang balak mo?".... "Ano ba talagang gusto mo?".... "Ipagpapatuloy mo pa ba ang pag-aaral mo?" 

After an hour of conversation over Skype with my uncle who is currently in Australia, he said "Dapat sa edad mong ayan, stable ka na eh. Kaso tignan mo yan, mawawalan ka na naman ng trabaho." 

My tears started to fall. He was obviously right. At my age, I was supposed to be a somebody by now. I would have been a somebody by now, had I not changed jobs. But the two years experience I had with the organization I am in right now is something that I don't regret.

It is actually something I am proud of. Working with wonderful people, meeting amazing minds and dreaming big for this nation. Talking to CEOs of big companies and start up companies and being mentored by one of the most powerful lady in the country. Yeah, she keeps herself on low profile, but her influence is enormous.

But still, going back to the issue, how do I package myself now to the direction that I wanted to take. I will always be an advocate of education for every Filipino because definitely, ignorance is the reason why we are poor.

8:40 PM

After eating Jolly Spaghetti and 3 rolls of shanghai and a serious conversation with Emil, I was able to calm myself. We are both on the same boat, but for him, he knows what path he wants to thread. He asked me the same question his father asked him back in December, when he was having his own dilemma. "How do you measure your success?"

How do I measure my success? As far as I know, I may be penniless but I am happy. I am just lost because of pressure and insecurity not because I don't know what I want. I want to build a career around the Finance Sector primarily, but I also think I would have a great career in the Development Sector as it is also aligned with my MA course at the moment. But still, I want to go back to the corporate sector. See? I know what I want. I'm just a little bit confused how do I package myself and where do I start again. After all, starting something is always one of the hardest part. At the moment, it is the letting go and the starting over again.

I miss Sundays like this. A good conversation with the oldies, tinola by Mama and lambingan with the younger sibs where I appear to be the little sister. I can't wait to move back home. I like seeing Papa petting his favorite cat out of our five cats. How he wants to throw them out but really don't have the heart to do so. I love eating home-cooked meals, we call them "real food" at home prepared by Mama. I like annoying my youngest sister, Nali, and asking her to do things for me. I like bugging my little brother, Doydoy, while he is watching a series on the internet. Rubbing his big belly and talking about how much weight he had gained over the years. I like teasing my younger sister, Bebs, to treat us to Jollibee or for an ice cream which usually happens. Though they endlessly tease me about being such a poor little Ate and a one day millionaire, I still love them. I just bought a book last night worth Php 900 and all I heard was, "Ate, share mo yung natutunan pagkatapos mo basahin."

Having such a loving family makes me want to provide more for them. So much more because they deserve it. Gotta make up my mind with that career path. With prayers and right conversations, I know I will get there. I have no choice but to get there anyway.

I can't wait to see how March unfolds for me.

I have an interview tomorrow at 1pm.

9:42 PM