Thirty things

I’ve just celebrated my 30th birthday this February. Would you mind reading some things about me? 😅

Things about me I usually share

1. I’m a Guidance Counselor and a Registered Psychometrician.

2. I’m shy and awkward, like a true introvert.

3. I’m a Catholic and I serve the Church.

Personality Type

1. INFJ

2. Enneagram Type 2

3. Choleric temperament

Events in my life that changed me

1. When I took up Psychology

2. When I gave birth to my daughter

3. When I got sick and was hospitalized for 2 months

What people don’t know about me (and would be surprised to discover)

1. I like cops movies/series

2. I think I have a talent in Basketball if I just only train

3. I’m a Board Exam Topnotcher (RPm, 2018) and I don’t tell people because I hate them to expect anything from me

Top three goals for 2021

1. To stay on my jobs and if possibly, earn more

2. To pass the comprehensive exam and begin writing my thesis

3. To secure a house and lot or aggressively prepare/save for it

Top three lessons in my life

1. Health is wealth

2. People won’t think like me, act like me, or feel the way I do; people won’t always like me either but all that’s perfectly fine.

3. We can trust God and His plans for us.

My shameful side

1. I am a habitual procrastinator

2. I don’t drink water or take care of my skin the way I should

3. I had no savings when I was still single- absolutely a financial illiterate

Crazy dreams

1. Be the DepEd secretary when Vico Sotto becomes the president of the Philippines

2. Build a retreat house or an orphanage

3. Become a Missionary and teach kids in the mountains.

Top three places I wish to visit

1. Sagada and Batanes

2. London

3. Spain

Top three self care activities

1. Journaling

2. Eating and drinking coffee

3. Sleeping

For what it’s worth, thank you 2020

Happy New Year! 🤣

It’s January 30 here in the PH 🇵🇭 and while I know that the holidays are already in a very, very distant past, allow me to still greet you. I haven’t been writing in the past 6 months because LIFE happened (read: work, sickness in the family, conflict in the family, unnecessary drama, my sister’s engagement, anime binge-watching, endless zoom meetings, and countless webinars). 2020 was indeed bittersweet, and perhaps like most of the people here, I feel glad that it already came to a close (reminded us all over again that all things eventually pass).

But I am aware that I no longer need to roast the previous year, for everybody has done that already. So for this very first post I will have for this year, I would like to share my gratefulness and thanksgiving to the plot twist in our history we wished we never had or wanted.

Thank you 2020 for the opportunity to slow down and realize what’s really essential in life. You locked us in our homes, drastically changing our plans and schedules making us feel lost because so much has been taken away. But this purging make us realize that we can indeed still live without the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. That life continues even if what we only have is the bare necessities.

Thank you 2020 for the chance to look within and truly appreciate what we currently have. You took a lot from us, but you also left us with something greater: a new and simpler perspective. We have realized that much of what we pursue in life are temporary, inessential, and inconsequential. We have learned that what we have can be lost in a blink of an eye. We hate you for doing that, but at the same time, we’ve been reminded of how fragile and fleeting our lives can be. And so we learned to cope, to appreciate, to be grateful, and to be contented.

Thank you 2020 for the chance to reconnect with our families. This is the greatest blessing, of course: to be able to wake up in the morning unhurried, and experience all the day’s firsts with the people we often take for granted before. We now recognize that we can turn our full attention into our own families, and make our homes into our own church, school, social club, sports facility, and hobby center. While we terribly miss hanging out with our other peers, we also come to appreciate the time we spent with our kin.

Thank you 2020 for allowing our planet to breathe, for teaching us how to livestream our teachings, for putting spotlight to what we, the Millenials and the Gen Zs, do best, for helping us see firsthand what we desire in our next set of public officials, for reminding us of our forgotten hobbies, talents, and passions, for centering our focus in self-care and mental health, and for showing us that really, we are just tiny speckle of dust in this ever-changing universe.

For what it’s worth, we want to believe we become better people.

Happy ‘work-versary’!

I was thinking this morning about how I sounded too whiny about work in my last post, when I realized today is also my ‘work anniversary’.

You see, I have this mindset that at work, instead of treating my office mates with a blowout (why do we have to do that? Because we’re Filipinos) during my birthday, I would do so during my work anniversary. It makes me remember the whys and the hows of being in that office, of being a School Counselor, and to celebrate it joyfully with the whos that make my profession more bearable and enjoyable. I may have vented out too many complaints in my last blog post, but I also take this job seriously, and I’m really proud and grateful for choosing this line of work as my profession.

Because I really can’t celebrate today my traditional way of having a good cup of expensive coffee, allow me to re-blog this post I wrote last May when we just celebrated “Counseling Awareness Month”. Hope you enjoy reading!

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I have always prided myself of becoming a School Guidance Counselor, for despite the bulky work load (I am handling almost 1, 000 students), going on a harder route in possessing a license, having lower salary range, and experiencing less appreciation from the school community, I think of this job as more of a vocation than just an office work. Initially, I took up BS Psychology in college believing that I can work in a clinical setup. But being trained as a Peer Facilitator for four years, I grew in love with the life surrounded by students and helping them be the best they could be. I have long dreamed of being a Guidance Counselor, and at age 23, I finally became one. I think that who I am now is greatly defined by the training I got from talking to so many students, listening to their rants about the world, and looking for the good rather than the bad side of it all. I learned about genuine care, self-actualization, motivation and learning styles, individual differences, and self-care by living and loving the young people and all their idiosyncrasies. On the other hand, I have also seen- and more importantly, learned to embrace- the self-harming and self-destructive tendencies as well as the cynical and anti-social capabilities we all have in our nature in a varying degree.

As a Counselor, I am exposed to both the good and the bad of a person. And what I have always observed in this line of work for six years now, I think that what sets us apart from others is our belief that good will always outweighs anything bad. We believe in our students, that no matter how tragic his past or his present has been, his future will become better, if he chooses to. We trust everyone’s capacity to make wise decisions for their lives, and that we pray for them to have courage and resilience if ever they face difficulties and setbacks on the way to that brighter future. Most importantly, we hold on to hope that any little help we can extend, we hope that we’re making this world a better place than before.

School Counselor Quote Posters by Counselor Designs | TpT

Years in service: 2014- 2019 as Grade School & Junior High School Counselor for a Catholic School in Novaliches; 2019- present as Grade School & Junior High School Counselor for a University with basic education in Diliman, QC.

The Best part of the Job: Being with the young, helping them, talking and getting to know them. This is actually what I believe as a key in keeping youthfulness. Hahah. Another useful advantage is that working in a school is very beneficial for the future education of my own child.

The Hardest part of the Job (and How I deal with it): Making the stubborn parents listen and understand! Hahahahaha. :p I have always been a Counselor for grade school and junior high school departments, and this population is roughly always almost 1000. This is very tedious, considering that I would be the only one preparing, managing, and implementing my programs and services. Also, counseling really has an emotional burden to me (or to any Counselor, per se). I deal with all these struggles with proper time management, effective prioritizing, and getting friendly with the Class Advisers and our school administration. I am only one person, but with the help from the right people, everything can be bearable.

Favorite Productivity Tips: Always work with a happy tummy. Do the hardest tasks in the morning while motivation and energy are still high. Stop when you are already tired. Breathe.

Best Advice I ever Received: “Keep on pushing and keep on learning. Don’t quit because the children and your school need you. Just keep on learning. (Again) Breathe.” -Ma’am Chatt, my college Guidance Counselor in UST

My Advice to those who are just Getting Started: The same as one above. Heheh. But really, never give up. We are who we are because we know how to listen, empathize, and care. And our children need us now more than ever. Whenever things get difficult, just remember who you are doing this for. And yes, never stop learning.

This & That (July 2020)

The past few days are crazily exhausting.

As we prepare for the opening of the school year, the pressure to deliver quality distance learning education tripled up for me. There were a lot of tears shed, but the good news here is that I’m still kickin’ alive and fighting.

My mantra: MAHIRAP, PERO KAYA MO. (It would be difficult, but you can do it)

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t gotten any better for the PH 🇵🇭 and by this rate, we’ll surely reach the projected 85k cases by the end of the month (UPDATE: YES! We’ve reached that already). That SONA btw was predictably useless and irrelevant. And the series of rants and unnecessary stress about our country’s politics, incompetence, and indifference to the poor citizens, are totally adding to the emotional burden I’m feeling.

At work, I’m so preoccupied with this Students’ Orientation. I needed to prepare presentations, write scripts, and do voice overs, and then edit the videos so it will be ready for our live-streamed orientation for our school community. All the while, I’m starting to lose precious time in transitioning to provide my Guidance & Counseling services to a digital platform; and establishing a systematic and sustainable procedure in doing my work in a virtual Guidance Office. I needed to prepare a boatload of paper works (i.e. guidelines, guidelines, and more guidelines) that will make my work adhere to what’s best, effective, and ethical. I have been a school counselor for a couple of years now so this shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but this year is a WHOLE LOT different. (Back story: I’m a newcomer to the school I’m employed now, so I’m still adjusting.. and then, BOOM! This pandemic happened and the admin decided to lay off school personnel, including ALL my team mates. I KNOW I should be deeply grateful to still have a job, and I greatly, greatly, greatly, greatly feel thankful.. But working the job that is supposed to be handled by 4 people is no easy feat.. and it hurts to admit that it really is stressing me out.)

But then… my other mantra: You gotta do what you gotta do.

My workload now may be too much and I really, really hate the government, but still, life goes on- I have a daughter to raise and a family to provide for.

And in that note, let’s now talk about some more personal stuff:

To balance the work stress, I’m exercising now more regularly, and this app really helps me. I also stopped playing this game for the mean time, but I’m back to watching tv series in Netflix, and that show is really an oldie but goldie (yeah, I think I can now admit I’m a sucker for old American tv series about crimes and cops stories- whether drama or comedy). I’m also getting more artsy with my planner, and 2 days ago, I had checked out P400-worth of journal stickers and washi tapes from this store in Shopee. Fortunately, I had clicked on ‘Back’ next, rather than ‘Confirm’, so major marital issues averted just like that. You’re welcome, Daddy.

With all the busyness, I had also managed to squeeze in a speaking opportunity, as I gave this parenting webinar about developing literacy at home and managing the New Normal. I’m trying to think it’s not really a big deal, but I’m proud because that’s the first webinar I gave, and our neighborhood’s chickens, birds, and dogs were all energetically cheering for me while recording, so yeah, it should really be a big one. The hubby and I are also attending that online training for Couple Coordinators of Kids for Christ. Plus we are our chapter’s designated “technicals and media team”, so we are really onto computers, zoom meetings, and live-streaming during the weekends.

Being a Mom is still one of the best parts of my life (self: why still?!) and Ella is this constant ‘sunshine on a cloudy day’. We are entering that chatterbox phase, and I’m ALWAYS amused with her stories, dreams, and observations. Btw, she calls herself now “Appleberry Cat”. There were also some meltdowns, and I’m still thankful because these are opportunities to teach and impose discipline on our little lady.

July is really a crazily tiring month, but still a blessing in itself, nonetheless. I think we are all still grieving for our past lifestyles and detoured dreams, but are also starting to cope well with the new ‘normal’. Hey, this album even somehow redeemed 2020 and put smiles on our faces even just for a little while. There is hope, people. There is hope.

Thank you

Woke up this morning to 54 followers for this blog.

This can be a small number for other bloggers, but an achievement in itself for me (I created this page on June 24. For my previous WP blog, I have 122 followers over the course of 7 years, heheh). To be honest, I’m not even blogging for readership and I don’t intend to monetize this platform, but knowing that people can notice, read, and appreciate some of my thoughts is rewarding.

In the midst of negative things happening, we only have to look for our own silver linings. Thank you so much for making me smile today. 😊

Never forget: July 10, 2020.

Natulog ako kagabi na masama ang loob.

Hindi sa asawa ko, pero sa mundo, sa Pilipinas, sa gobyerno.

Sobrang nakakasama talaga ng loob ang mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas ngayon. Sa gitna ng pandaigdigang pandemiya, tila nakatuon sa ibang bagay (read: POLITICAL, SELFISH AGENDA) and mga pinuno ng bansa. Nakakasukang isipin na napakaraming tao ang nawalan ng trabaho, napakaraming estudyante ang mawawalan ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral, napakaraming negosyo ang nalugi at nalulugi, napakaraming empleyado na bagaman hindi natanggal sa pinapasukan pero nagkakayod-kabayo umaga at gabi para trabahuin ang mga gawaing naiwan ng mga nawala at nagkakaroon na rin ng anxiety sa pangambang sila na ang susunod na matatanggal kinabukasan. Hindi pa binabanggit dito ang mga pasyenteng araw-araw nakikipag-laban sa COVID-19, ang mga healthcare workers at frontliners na tunay na mga bayani sa krisis na ito at patuloy na nagsasakripisyo dahil sa araw-araw na pagdoble ng mga taong nahahawaan ng sakit, at ang mga taong tahimik na nagdurusa sa kanilang Mental Health conditions dahil ang di-kasiguraduhan ng panahong ito ang kanilang pinaka-kaaway.

Pero may dalawang bagay na mas nakakasuka d’yan:

  1. Ang kawalan ng konkreto, matatag, at MATALINOng plano ng mga leaders ng bansa dahil maaaring wala silang pakialam, wala silang alam, at wala silang ginagawa para matuto paano maging mas mahusay na pamahalaan; at
  2. Ang mga kababayan nating hindi pa rin mulat sa tunay na kalagayan ng bansa (o baka naman nagbubulagbulagan dahil panatiko na sila ng mga taong nakaupo sa posisyon)- at patuloy na parang tangang sumisigaw ng “huwag kasi kayong umasa sa gobyerno”, “ikaw na lang kaya mag-Presidente”, at “dilawan!”

Hindi na ho ito usapin ng kulay, partido, o paniniwala.

Hindi natin napipili kung saan tayo ipapanganak- kung saang bansa, kung anong klase ng komunidad, kung anong katayuan sa lipunan, kung gaano kahirap o kayaman. Hindi natin ito choice, hindi kasalanan, at hindi rin naman parusa. At totoong nakasalalay sa ating mga kamay at pagsisikap kung paano tayo magtatagumpay.

Pero ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit may pamahalaan ay para tuklasin, pag-aralan, at solusyunan kung paano pagpantayin (kahit baha-bahagya lang, kahit pakonti-konti) ang mga oportunidad para magtagumpay ang lahat- anuman ang kasarian, katayuan sa buhay, o pangkat na pinanggalingan. Ang trabaho nila ay alamin at hanapin ang mga pader na naghihiwalay sa mga nakapag-aral sa hindi, sa mga may trabaho sa wala, sa mga may kapansanan sa mga malulusog, at sa mga nakakariwasa sa buhay sa mga ni walang makain; at tibagin iyon sa pamamagitan ng mga mabubuti at mahuhusay na batas, polisiya, at pamamahala.

Kaya sa tuwing kinakalampag natin ang gobyerno, hindi natin sila inaasahang magbigay ng limpak na pera para mamuhay tayo ng masagana kahit di nagtatrabaho kailanman. Hindi tayo umaasang gagawin nila tayong milyonaryo. Kinakalampag natin sila dahil gusto nating ipaalala ang kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin. Kinakalampag natin sila dahil gusto nating ipaalala ang ating HALAGA bilang tao at mamamayan- dahil karapat-dapat tayong LAHAT sa isang maayos kahit simple lang na pamumuhay.

Natulog ako kagabi na masama ang loob.

Pero pag-gising ko ako pa rin ay isang Pilipino, nasa lower middle-class, may mga responsibilidad, bills at buwis na dapat bayaran, takot at balisa, at wala pa ring lunas o bakuna para sa COVID-19.

Hindi ko mababago ang mga bagay na yan sa isang iglap lang, katulad ng hindi ko mababago ang mga taong naghahari-harian ngayon sa gobyerno (lalo na ang kanilang stupidity, selfishness, and indifference). Sila lang naman ang pwedeng magdesisyon para baguhin ang mga sarili nila. Pero siguro wag na lang natin kalimutan na may mga bagay na kaya naman nating gawin.

UTANG NA LOOB:

  1. Magparehistro tayo at bomoto ng tama sa susunod na eleksyon. (Lord, please sana may election na maganap sa 2022) Sama-sama din tayong magdasal na sana’y magkaroon ng mga mabubuti, mahuhusay, at maka-bansang kandidato. Dahil kung mga trapo at berdugo na naman ay ewan ko na lang talaga.
  2. Magbasa, mag-aral, mag-isip ng kritikal. Tanggapin na natin- Change has indeed come, but not for the better.

Whatever it is you’re not changing, you are choosing.

Hindi na pwedeng neutral sa panahong ito. Sana doon tayo sa may tunay na pagmamahal sa Pilipinas.

Mid-year Check-in

Happy Friday! 🎉

I’m not really having a very good week right now, but at least it’s already Friday and I’m all into reminding myself that all is still well. So in the spirit of cheering myself up and taking hold of the things I can control, I brought out my planner and remembered to make a mid-year check-in.

2020 may not be our favorite year, but hey, we’re half-way over.

🌻 Accomplishments

  • Second semester in MA
  • Work from Home setup sa loob ng kwarto
  • 3 speaking engagements, and another one this July
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support module for my elementary pupils
  • I still have work despite the pandemic

Big Events

  • My first ever solo task in FEU-D (Understanding Self Seminar)- January
  • CFC Kids for Christ Family Day Conference (January)
  • Taal Volcano eruption (February)
  • My 29th birthday (February)
  • Luzon Lockdown (March to May)
  • ECQ Celebrations: Aljhon and I’s 4th wedding anniversary, Mama & Papa’s wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Aljhon’s 29th birthday (all in May)
  • Ella’s 3rd birthday (June)
  • Mental Health Webinar Series (June)

🏆 Most Proud of

  • Ella is toilet-trained before turning 3, and she actually did it for only one day
  • We have already renovated our kitchen and dining area
  • Ella’s Hello Kitty 3rd birthday party
  • My speaking engagements (Fam Day Conference @ ADMU, Parents’ Seminar @ OLLCS, and Discovery Camp Talk #4 @ NB2 YFC)
  • Getting high grades in MA 2nd sem despite the difficulties I encountered huhuh
  • Ella’s rapid development and her being an emphatic child

💔 Most Challenging

  • COVID 19 pandemic and its resulting community quarantine measures, shutdown of schools and churches, economic recession, and mental health crisis. And of course, our government’s inability to properly and adequately address the matters.
  • My gastritis returned last March, and because of ECQ, I can’t even go to the hospital. It was so hard managing the pain without even having anything else to do other than take medicine 😣 Hayyyy
  • Laying off employees in my school. I totally don’t know how to do it all alone!
  • Weight gain and insecurities about my own body
  • Mama’s moodiness, Aljhon’s laziness, and my own irritability

⚠️ Things I learned

  • That nothing worth having will come easy (LAHAT TALAGA PINAGHIHIRAPAN)
  • That I need to step up my game if I want things to happen (Be self-motivating. Keep on being masipag)
  • How fragile and fleeting our life is. (Everything we have is temporary)
  • It’s really the small things in life that truly matter.
  • Be grateful. Every single day.

✅ Completed

  • First year in MA (yey!)
  • PGCA webinars
  • Transferred to another blog

📌 In progress

  • MHPSS modules for my Junior High School students + Career modules
  • GCU online services, programs, and activities for the next school year
  • Finalize SY19-20 reports

🎯 For next month

  • MHPSS implementation + Students and Parents’ Orientation
  • New Normal talk @ OLLCS
  • Couple Coordinators Online Training

🔔 Start

  • Practicing calligraphy again
  • Toddler Homeschool routine for Ella
  • A serious diet and workout plan
  • Reading books again everyday
  • Communicating more with my friends and office mates

⛔ Stop

  • Mindless scrolling + checking my emails early in the morning
  • Eating junk foods
  • Overthinking and worrying too much
  • Depreciating myself

▶️ Continue

  • Praying the rosary every day
  • Posting to my IG and blog regularly
  • Trying to become a better wife, mother, and counselor despite many challenges
©Google Images

I have always been saying that for this year 2020, the best is yet to come. And surely, 2020 has been surprising us with all twists and turns we can imagine having for starting a whole new decade. Well, we just have to remember that every day we’re alive is a great blessing in itself, and there are still things we must be grateful for. We just all got to do what we have to do. Here’s to the plot twist we all have been waiting for this 2020. 🍻

Beginning

I started blogging when I was in 3rd year HS (2005), a time when social media sites encouraged people not just to socialize with filtered photos and pointless dance challenges, but to express themselves through actual words (anyone remember Multiply, Tumblr, and the Friendster testimonials? ❤ ahhh, good times). It was introduced to me by a classmate, and we had real fun making and customizing our own “websites”. I have built 6 blogs over the years (may ‘theme’ kasi ang mga blogs ko, haha, kaya pag hindi na yun ang theme ng buhay, bagong blog na naman uwu 🙈), chronicling my personal experiences and views about myself, my family, my job, the world and how I see it. Writing and reading blogs have always been my hobby, therapeutic for me, even. I have always been a wanna-be writer, and thru blogging, I’m getting a taste of what this crazy dream actually feels like.

Year 2013, I started Musings and Geniuses, hoping to share my musings (thoughts while on commute, hence the domain) and inspire others, while I also try to live and learn in my own young adulthood journey. It wasn’t really an active blog site (141 published posts for a period of 7 years), yet it tells the stories of the most important milestones in my life so far- every career shifts, a major heartbreak because of losing my Church friends, my engagement and marriage to Aljhon, and then becoming a Mom to Ella. It is a time capsule of my most important memories of both happy and sad times.

Presently, as I juggle my time working from home and taking care of our household and my daughter, I am inspired to build another blog- this time to center on who I really am and on things I am most passionate about. Much as I want to maintain the posts (and yes, the followers), Musings and Geniuses is not who I am anymore. I decided that this new blog will still continue to chronicle my personal journey, but more importantly, touch on three important subjects:

1. Motherhood

I love being a Mom, despite the super tiredness I feel on the daily basis. There is already a lot of content you can find about Mom life in the internet, but for my own space, you’ll find just my own journey with my own child. I’ll never claim to be an expert on the topic, but only to my own kid and to our own style of raising her. I’ll write about them all here, hoping that in one way or another, it may help other Moms who are experiencing the same dilemmas and situations I had. Motherhood is a long and winding journey, and every Mom definitely needs a tribe to help her keep going.

2. Married Life

Aljhon and I just recently celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. We are definitely young by the number, but we are constantly trying to learn and discover how to become better partners and parents. And that is what I want to write about in this blog. As a Christian wife, I am well aware that the family is the basic and most crucial part of the Church and society, and sadly, its value to the young people is diminishing due to worldly views and short-term idealism (wala daw forever!). On this blog, I will never preach. 🙏 But I’ll at least do my part on sharing our own stories of triumphs and sufferings, because that’s what marriage is all about- experiencing all the better and worse, together.

3. Mental Health

For the last 2 years, I have always been invited to various talks and seminars about Mental Health, and the presentations I prepared have been calling me to have a home. And as someone with a license in Psychology (RPm pa lang ha, not RPsy), pursuing Masteral studies in Counseling, and with 6 years of professional experience as a School Counselor, advocating for good Mental Health and Well-being has been an integral part of who I am now. On this little space in the internet, I would like to share my tribulations as I try to make a difference as a Counselor, one student at a time.

Starting this new blog actually gives me a familiar rush. And yeah, for the very first time, I made my name as the blog domain (para di na maiba, hahahaha). But really, I am just hoping that whatever I’ll write here may help another mommy, wife, student, or any other person. Because as uncertain as times may be right now, we all certainly need every help we can to get by.