Family

Should I Stay # 2

My current working schedule is way better than the previous semester . I handle two consecutive classes in the morning and my remaining hours are spent for my office work. I love the fact that I can go home early. No more evening exhausting evening classes. Just when I was about to start office work, I learned that two of my colleagues are tendering their resignation. One will study abroad and the other will pursue her dream of pursuing a career in the industrial sector. Sigh… Here we go again. I’m not friends with these colleagues. No personal relationships but why am I affected? It’s not that I will miss them. We’re never friends. But something has intensified in me again.

People are leaving and I’m being left behind. What now for me? I’m beginning to feel that I’m left in the flock of losers.

As I was beginning to over analyse things again, the following thoughts dawned to me

1. I admire people who are willing to accept lower salaries in another company – In exchange for more possibilities of career growth, this colleague admitted that she is very willing to accept a lower salary to start and build her career in the corporate sector. This will never work for me. My New Journey Series will explain. I have a new insurance policy and I need to build my savings account.

2. I fear the uncertainty – If I move to a new company, I fear the new boss and colleagues to deal with. For sure, there are patience testing experiences again.

3. I don’t want to leave my job just because everyone is leaving – I don’t want to appear as someone who only joins the trend. When I will tender that resignation, I want to do it because I’m convinced that it is the best decision for me.

4. It’s hard to leave a very understanding Boss – This has been one of my greatest struggles. My current Boss is highly respected in the company. He has led successful projects. He is best known for being one of most considerate and understanding superiors in the workplace. How can you give up the best?

5. My recent conversation with my Mother – I told her last weekend that I’m already having second thoughts of transferring to another company. I also advised her that I would most likely land on a BPO company that requires graveyard shift. These BPOs are surviving the employment market of the Philippines. You know, the classic stories of American and European companies who transferred bulk of their operations to Asian economies to avail of cheaper operations costs. After explaining this situation, my Mother encouraged me to remain where I am. Magtiyaga ka na anak sa ______, kesa naman sa gabi ka magtrabaho. Ikakamatay mo pa ‘yan. Mapapadali ang buhay mo nyan.  I can’t blame her. I have a friend who works for a contact centre and later found her health deteriorating. After 3 years of working, she passed away. Months after, I learned that one of my friend’s colleagues also passed away, same reason accounted.

6. I’m halfway writing this post when I realised that it was already lunch time. I left my table for a while and purchased my lunch. As I was returning to the office, a colleague behind me blurted… mag-isa ka na lang ngayon, wala na yung kasama mo mag-lunch. Good thing another colleague approached him I almost want to say, SH@#$% you don’t need to emphasise it. I KNOW ! I KNOW! I know better because I was able to find a best friend for 10 years at the workplace. And you? Look at you, you have been eating lunches on your own for more than 15 years. I can’t imagine how miserable is the workplace for you. 

I’m more confused now. Or maybe, I already have a decision it’s just that I’m refusing to accept and face it.

The day I cried for my Father

I intend to spend the past holiday at home. It should have been a great break because yesterday was pay day. Unfortunately, the piles of bills to pay swept everything. I planned to spend the entire day at home. I should get more sleep, read books, and drown myself with entertaining drama series.

I woke up with a number of text messages from my cousin. She was requesting me to treat Grandpa for merienda. I admit. I wasn’t happy. This is not the time to spend because I have nothing to spend in the first place. I initially avoided the conversation. I answered my cousin’s other queries. In the middle of our exchange of messages, I learned that another cousin volunteered to treat Grandpa, much to my relief. Unfortunately, the treat didn’t push through. I don’t know what happened on my cousin’s end. I was pissed off to some extent because my cousin never bothered to explain what happened. I was left hanging and waiting.

When weekend came, I was surprised with a photo of Grandpa tagged in my Facebook account. I learned that the “not-so-legal” partner of another cousin took Grandpa to his favourite restaurant along Sto. Domingo Church. I should have been happy for Grandpa and thankful for my other cousin. He and his partner did a great favour for us. However, my heart was telling otherwise. I felt cheated and frustrated. My financial struggle took away an opportunity to spend time and create those priceless memories with Grandpa.

Days passed, I forgot everything. I thought I was fine not until I learned that my Father personally thanked my other cousin. The exact words uttered by my Father to my cousin,

Nilabas mo pala ang Lolo mo. Salamat ha. Pasensiya na kayo ha. Hindi ko na kayang ilibre ang Lolo niyo. Wala na kasi akong trabaho.

(Thank you for the taking time to bring your Grandpa to his favorite restaurant. Pardon your Uncle’s financial incapability. I don’t anymore have work and income to treat your Grandpa.)

My Father’s humble words of appreciation to my cousin stabbed my heart. I was pierced to pieces. I excused myself and rush to the bathroom. Tears are welling up. I have to salvage my remaining pride and self-esteem. I have to look strong and unaffected even in front of my own mother.

My Father’s words reminded me of my failure. In my previous post, I selfishly bragged about my untainted work ethics. No one can ever accuse me of engaging in some questionable activities. I feed my family with nothing but hardwork. At the end of the day however, it made me realize how far can my honor and dignity take me? Can it pay bills? Can it give me that protection in times of accidents and sicknesses? Can it build my much needed savings account? Can it give me and my family a better life? Can people recognize this as proof that my parents did a great job? I hate to admit it but in the case of my family, financial wealth is always the indicator of successful parenting.

Maybe this entire post boils down to my financial struggle. Maybe I’m just really jealous and frustrated. Whatever it is, my wish remains the same. I just want to have enough and live happy.

Having enough

I have a lot of plans for the Holy Week break. These include

1. Cleaning my room

2. Finish a portion of my documentation project at the workplace

3. Visit blog friends and followers

4. Exercise

and as you have sensed it, nothing in the list was accomplished. So what occupies me on this rare holiday break? Zzzzzzz

I never denied that I’m the queen of procrastination and laziness. I’m typing this post at 12:38 am, a few minutes before Black Saturday started. I’m wasted and useless again. In a few more days, I will be back to work and threatened to be attacked by my bad and old habits. Dear God! Have mercy on me.

Maybe I wasted an entire holiday break. Despite my consistent laziness, there’s a little realisation that dawned on me. It was ignited by some side stories involving a close relative. I won’t mention our specific affinity. Only God knows, one of my relatives will eventually discover my silent space here.

It was a long story to begin with. I don’t even know how and where to start. I’m quite reluctant relating the entire story because along the way, I might be hinting persons and unintentionally insinuating blame to some. The relative who prompted me to write this post is living a financially abundant life. They are relatively well off among the rest of the family. They live in those fenced subdivisions, own the latest car models, and growing businesses. Despite all the enviable possessions we see, the family is silently plagued by a problem. Someone is misbehaving. Someone is engaging in an extra marital affair.

I maybe wrong or right but as I see it, MONEY is one the primary suspects.

~

Whenever I’m asked to identify my wishes, having enough to sustain my needs never fails to be in my list. Even as a kid, I’ve bear in mind to ask enough. This made me remember that instance when I first read Aladdin’s story. It dawned on me, what would I wish if the magic lamp landed on my hands.

  1. I want my special brother to be healed. I want him to become a normal kid. Unfortunately, it never happened. I learned that my brother’s condition is meant to last a lifetime.
  2. I want to have a happy life. At that age, my definition of happiness is too shallow. Like a lot of food, toys and playtime. As I age, I have different measures of happiness. At this age, I want to have more time with my parents, more vacation, writing opportunities and my own family.
  3. I want to have enough. It remains the same since I was 7 and 23 years after. I hope I have enough of what I need.

I don’t know how the third wish thrived on me. I’m sure it never came from my parents. The constant lesson my parents imbibed on me was to study well. I’m always told that if I study well, I will be able to live a better life. I can buy everything I want.  Growing up in a Catholic school, I was taught to be good to others. But having enough? Where did that come from?

I may sound like I’m trying to present myself as the purest saint. But no, I’m an equally normal sinner.

Perhaps, the overall upbringing and my constant exposure to all those drama series and local Filipino films made me hold on to the dream of having enough. I have seen how having more than enough devastated friends and families. If the tradeoff of every excessive wealth gain is an inch of unhappiness, I will never think twice. I prefer to take the hardest way. I can endure the hardships, sadness and frustrations if at the end of the day, all I have is a happy life that I can always be proud off. 🙂

Corporal Punishment or whatever it is …

In western countries, corporal punishment has long been restricted. The case of Asian countries, particularly in the Philippines, shares a different story. While there’s a law that protects children from any form of abuse, culture and tradition can overpower everything. Perhaps in American countries, the typical patting practiced in Filipino families is enough grounds for child abuse.

In our home, I admit growing from this type of disciplinary action. I have been hit by slippers many times. A few instances, I experienced having my earlobes or hair pulled by my mother.

While I don’t personally advocate inflicting any form of pain to inculcate discipline, I never blame my mother for adopting such approach. I believe my mother’s approach was effective to some extent. I grew up respecting and fearing my parents. The fear later contributed on instilling the much needed discipline.

I’m not a parent and maybe, I don’t have the right to talk anything about parenting principles. I know a number of my blog followers such as Jonalyn & Juan ,  Postsquared and Jen are parents. I would really appreciate if they can share their sentiments.

Setting aside my inexperience, allow me to share my opinion on corporal punishment as a tool on instilling discipline.

As I have said, I never believe in using pain to develop discipline. I’m an advocate of using teaching, learning and experience instead. When a child does something wrong, the parent should

Teach – Explain to the kid what makes everything wrong.

Learning – Let the kid speak. Let the kid explain why he did it. Let him process his own thoughts.

Experience – Make the kid see the possible outcomes of his mistake.

So why all of a sudden, I’m writing a topic out of my personality?  As always, this was prompted by some incident that happened at home, work or wherever.

Two days ago, I became a stupid witness to some corporal punishment inflicted to a poor kid… (I hate to admit it) within my family. Worst of the worst, it wasn’t a family member who inflicted the punishment. It was “someone who tries to become a family” who instigated. Let me baptize that person as the Antagonist.

The pathetic three-year old kid was slapped on her thighs many times by this antagonist. I rarely see the kid so most likely, there is a high chance that the kid was often maltreated. Yesterday, the kid did something naughty. If I’m not mistaken, the kid played with the faucet in the backyard. When another cousin reported the incident to the elders, the antagonist dragged the poor kid to the backyard. I knew what I was witnessing was a mistake. I tried to get the attention of the poor kid, but the antagonist prevailed.

The antagonist perhaps later realized that there were a lot of eyes around. She ended the scene by threatening to slap the kid with her hand towel.

If only I had the genes of Kris Aquino or Simon Cowell, the story of this blog post would have been different. The antagonist’s family will curse me to death in their bravest 63,206 character allocation in Facebook. But no, I prefer to take things on my own hands… in the most silent and deadliest way.

Some of you might be wondering, where are the parents of the poor kid? A surprising back story can explain why the poor kid has always been tagged as bad and naughty. Both parents of the poor kid are mentally delayed for their ages. The parents are in their late twenties to early thirties, but their mental ages are way younger. They are unfit to become parents, but destiny made other plans. This greatly explains why the kid turned out to be the naughtiest and often the cause of headache of the elders in the family.

There’s no way the antagonist can read my sentiments. I’m likewise not in the position to confront her. Should this happens, I will surely gain nothing but enemies from the antagonist’s children. (It will be raining hate status messages screaming with grammar violations Heehee) Yes, the antagonist is a mother in her 50s. It’s quite hard to believe that she has the age but the missing understanding, patience and maturity for a poor kid. Considering she has reared a number of kids, I doubt if she doesn’t know the hate arising when another stranger maltreats your own blood. Maybe the antagonist is used to this kind of discipline. Maybe she doesn’t mean it. (I doubt?!) Maybe she has to remember that she was never family. She was just given the privilege to live within the compounds of my paternal family. I really hope someone would have the courage to clarify her limits. My cousin’s family has been accommodating to the antagonist and her family…. but behind their backs they are most unwelcome to the family.

The least I can do know is to pray for the poor kid. Despite the absence of proper discipline, I hope the kid will grow up way different from her parents. Impossible, I still hope the Lord sends the Holy Spirit to protect the kid from the hands of the antagonist. I hope my late grandma and auntie will guard her in times of another danger. Maybe in the end, I just wish that the antagonist would leave and forever stay away from my family.

The Assurance

The birthday is finally over. I officially reached the age I’m dreading for the longest time. I’m now 30 … (Insert a sad, sluggish and weak face here)

When 2013 entered, I had my list of how to celebrate my …. 30th.  (My mind and heart are still having a difficult time admitting that age.)  I wanted an out-of-town getaway with my family, few friends or even on my own. I wanted to visit Nuvali to experience that man made lake, try a fancy restaurant and check the outlet shops around.  After a day in Nuvali, I wanted a weekend stay in Tagaytay. I’ve been to Tagaytay quite a few times and all I had are pleasant memories. I love the lush greenery, cool temperature I don’t encounter in the city, and the relaxing view of the Taal Volcano. If I only I have the resources, I will surely acquire a real estate property in Tagaytay. I wanted my own  sanctuary in the silent and peaceful area of Tagaytay.

Unfortunately, life or probably my laziness had other plans. Nothing in my list happened. Even my kid-at-heart dream of having a cake and birthday candle didn’t happen. Call me shallow but this gave me silent tears. The last time I had a real birthday cake was when I turned 18. After the much awaited birthday song, I uttered my wish, blew the candle, and I was showered with hugs and kisses from my family and a few friends. This never happened again.

On the last working day before my birthday, I treated my workplace friends for dinner. It was a birthday tradition I intend to keep. This time however, I was given an unexpected surprise. I underestimated my budget. I was happy with my friends but on the way home, my knees started to weaken because of unexpected bill. Nevertheless, I don’t have regrets. I blame my stupidity and poor budgeting skills.

A day before my birthday, I felt unwell. I had recurring colds, surprise dysmenorrhea, severe headache and signs of an upcoming fever. My patience was dwindling and my irritation hormones were escalating. Come Sunday, I hosted a simple get together with my paternal cousins. To be honest, I don’t have plans of pushing any sort of party or celebration with my family. I’m still drowning with the endless bills to pay and my new responsibility as the family’s bread winner. However, I don’t like to be tagged as the birthday grinch. Instead of spending on another fancy restaurant, I decided to invite everyone at home. I figured out that this is the cost effective way to celebrate. I gave the budget to my parents and they took care of everything. Though I was showing evident signs of agitation, I was thankful to my parents for organising everything. I was spared from the additional set of worries.

On the day of my birthday, my guests didn’t arrive on time. Much to my dismay, my cousins who were the lead bullies were absent.

I admit that I didn’t like the way I spent my 30th. It was the worst birthday I had over the recent years. It wasn’t a happy birthday after all.  I gave in to the request of other people, only to later frustrate myself. I was already unwell. My family aggravated everything. Worst of all, I feel so guilty for enslaving and exhausting my parents.

It has been days after my birthday. I hate to admit it but I feel quite relieved that it was over. I’ve been dreading the day I will turn 30. Despite of this, I was hoping for a great birthday.  I wanted this birthday to be remembered as the best. Unfortunately, the opposite of what I was expecting prevailed. I was given my own taste of sadness and bitterness.

I never wished for anything grand. This is something I learned over my years of existence. I mentioned this many times here. All I wanted was for things to turn out fine. On my 30th birthday, I never wished for the attention of everyone. Personal handwritten notes, hugs and kisses, great friends, I’m fine with these.

Unfortunately, life always have other plans.

That Facebook Page

I cannot remember the exact time when Facebook Pages was launched. My earliest recollection was when famous showbiz personalities started creating their own fan pages. The page enables fans or likers to receive updates and gain drops of access to the everyday lives of these people. Over time, businesses also started to take advantage of this feature. Likers are updated on product arrivals, store openings and promotional offers. The power of Facebook pages further evolved when informal organizations or groups started pages whose function exceeded what these famous personalities and businesses can offer. Eventually, there are hate pages for people and companies, tribute pages, gossip pages and so much more I couldn’t even imagine.

The company or the school where I’m working recognised the need to join this social media bandwagon. The school’s Communication Office maintains an official page whose main function is to showcase accomplishments, achievements and important announcements. As an employee, I felt obliged to “like” and become aware of the activities made in our official page.

As my number of “friends” or contacts increased, I later discovered unofficial Facebook pages that carry the name of our school. Among those I discovered was this page that carried the most number of fans or likers. Out of  sheer curiosity, I joined the group. I was expecting the unexpected. True enough,  the page led me to unearth cans of worms. Most information posted are gossips, hearsay and negative things about the school. Some are half-true, too good to be true, exaggeratedly true and only a few are hidden truths.

I don’t have means to track the moderator of the page. Though to be honest, I don’t see the point of knowing the perpetuator. If the management will discover, what for? The negative things have been said and documented. Punishing the criminal will not erase the crime. My firm opinion on this kind of issue remains the same. Suppressing the air that spreads the smoke is never the solution. Eliminate the fire that emits the smoke.

On the few months I’ve joined the group some common issues discussed evolve on the following, BASKETBALL, BASKETBALL, BASKETBALL, BASKETBALL, BASKETBALL and BASKETBALL!

Our school is a member of this famous collegiate league. We lost the chance to take home the championship title for two consecutive years.  Hours and days after the last game, everyone seem to have a brilliant explanation over everything. blah blah blah Heck, everyone suddenly becomes a seasoned basketball analyst.

While I have nothing against the overflow of stupid and useless thoughts (freedom of expression that is), I believe that everything has its own limitation. Most members are of legal age. Let’s not anymore debate the kind of relationship that exists between age and maturity.

One post I will never forget was when the entire coaching staff of the Basketball team posted their gratitude and appreciation for all the supportive fans.  In my mind, they should have coursed their words to the official Facebook page of the school. Better yet, they should have waited for an institutional event and requested seconds for their most awaited gratitude speech. I couldn’t blame them because the official Facebook page of the school is dormant anyway. In addition, the page unites both alumni and students. There’s more following and reach observed in the famous and unofficial Facebook page. I guess this is another example of how the “unofficial” takes over the role of the “official.” Oh well, let’s reserve this issue in another blog post.

This Facebook page usually becomes active during the heat of the basketball season. Months after, the page turns like a room of dust and old cobwebs 🙂  As a result, my curiosity hormones are deprived with its own supply of juicy facts or not.

I thought I was maintaining my usual inactive and boring Facebook account. Everything changed when I saw a significant number of my former students liking this controversial Facebook page. It perked my interest.  I ended up becoming another silent stalker of the page.  What I perceived as another unofficial page changed when I discovered the overflowing posts everyday.

Unlike the other pages I encountered, this account possesses a point of uniqueness. Only the page administrator can create posts in behalf of all the fans. However, there’s a twist behind the posts made. All information should be submitted by fans through Google documents. Why consider an external source in collecting information? This is to facilitate the element of anonymity. We all know how the absence of identity can change the rules and outcome of the game. Anonymity removes inhibitions and grants that barrels of bravery to anyone. I believe this is the main contributor to the popularity or call that success of the page. The juiciest untold stories are unearthed with anonymity. Everyone is given an endless feast of gossips keeping the messenger safe and protected.

Whether the stories and experiences posted are true, most are tainting the reputation and image of the school. As much as I want to feel sad for the school, I’m more concerned on how some colleagues are addressing the issues shared on the page. Some of my colleagues are counterattacking the accusations by rendering comments. Seriously? This is not the mature and professional way to treat accusations made by kiddies. If they see the page as an immature attempt made by college kiddies, why waste time fueling a non-sense online debate?

If I may use the Filipino-gay lingo, why make patola over a very childish destabilizing attempt?

Of the many comments made by a few colleagues, I can never forget this colleague who challenged the college kids to transfer school. He told the kid to leave school if he is unsatisfied with the kind of services rendered.

Oh Dear God! This is a testament that feeding my fellow employees with countless customer service seminars does not actually breed customer service. Oh well, I personally think that you don’t need advanced degrees to understand the right and wrong in Customer Service 101.

All the while, I thought that this would be the last stupid and lame behavior from a colleague. Days after, I learned a colleague who vehemently reacted to a post directed at her. Her name was never mentioned but clues tend to point at her. And just like that, I was given a living case example that age, educational attainment, and parenthood do not in any way correlate with maturity and professionalism. In the end, she obviously appeared defensive and guilty. Worst of the worst, the lowest of the low, she threatened of filling legal charges. Libel, seriously? How can you file charges to a person hiding under a pseudo name? If her objective is to discipline the kid, I don’t see legal action as the right approach. The legal charge will simply threaten the kid.  It will not prevent the attacks made against the achool.

This rant post is getting longer. I’m afraid I’m becoming useless and annoying. Let me end by leaving three points

I was never against the page which they now tag as the freedom wall. In my line of work, we show appreciation for rants and complaints. We even treat complaint as a gift. Through complaints, we are able to discover areas of weaknesses straight from the client’s voice.

Hunting the page administrator is useless and a waste of time. Due process, Facebook terms and conditions and bureaucracy, how many years and legal fees do we have to incur to close the page? As I have said, nothing can be undone. Efforts, resources and time should rather be directed to discuss and address the  complaints.

Lastly, I have one request to my colleagues .. Please don’t make another patola.

Long weekend

A rare long weekend! I should have been the happiest because it meant longer sleeping hours, reading my hopeless romantic paperbacks, korean drama series marathon … this is life! Hahaha

It should have been a relaxing weekend not until I realized that I have a screaming empty wallet. (FTW!) My fault, I know.

Prior to the long weekend, I met up a client after my night classes. Still exhausted from handling the restless college kids, I hurried to our meeting place to finally seal the deal. After a short meeting over a great meal, I was able to get the job. The meager pay I can get from the job is not enough to settle all the debts. But any additional income is always a welcomed addition. It can give that slightest but much needed financial relief.

But before the happiness, I must endure a little suffering first. I’m spending the long weekend with my equally struggling netbook, kindest supply of internet connection from my cousin (Thanks A!) and the challenge of making this happen.

I need all the luck and prayers for this job.

To my Filipino blog friends, enjoy the long weekend!