One Year Later

Summer vacation is almost over and the preparation for the incoming school year is just around the corner. I haven’t really taken time to introspect on what had happened to me and how I had evolved after my first year of teaching.

Deciding to be a teacher was not a difficult task. I graduated with such degree, got a professional license for it too. All I lack back then was the courage to take on the challenges of teaching. More than the financial necessity which I had found to be a very good excuse until today, it was really the courage to that I had lacked that’s why it took me a little while to start living one of my dreams- to be a teacher.

This organization had been a very wonderful avenue to start with my journey. I would like to express my warmest gratitude for the opportunity to be part of the pioneer batch for this amazing movement for education for all here in the country.

How shall I describe my first year of teaching? Harry Wong said that teaching has four stages…

Fantasy, Survival, Mastery and Impact.

I was at this stage when I was convincing myself to join.
The joy of being with kids.
The feeling of success when you see them learn.
Later on, the better Philippines.

Come first few months of my teaching, this is how I had been feeling, every single day.
There were even days I question my own decisions of moving into this field. This has also been the time that those teachers who came before gained my utmost respect. Staying in this profession and keeping the jest and love for kids and the striving to make the not-so-conducive-for-learning environment be child-friendly is such a tiresome effort. As I push myself every day with constant reminder that “this too shall pass” I had found the answer. The innocence in their bright eyes, the crisp laughter from their mouths, and the amazement every time they learn something new—that’s what make those teachers stay I suppose because those are one of the many priceless reasons why I am thankful I am at this job. So, I got the hang of everything. I am past survival stage I guess until a new challenge arises.

The “teacher look”. Master the “teacher look” and you are in control. Classroom management is very essential for a cumulative learning to occur. Apart from that, lesson plan is a must. Without it, it’s like going to war without any weapons. Truth be told, I think, in my daily lesson plan, I can only execute around 30 percent of it or up to the Intro to the Lesson Proper. The proceeding approaches will depend on how they will respond to the questions, demonstrations and other preliminaries.

It doesn't take a while for me to realize the impact these kids had made into my life. Every day they come to school, every time they smile at me, say hello and participate in class, I know I had made an impact in them.

Little steps, I always tell myself. Little steps. Aim for the gold yet make sure not to step on potholes, and if you do, stand up, dust off and start walking again, little by little, towards the pot of betterment.

It’s a cycle. As the school year ends, I am back fantasizing on how my next school year will become. I am eager to do changes, upgrades and new tricks I will apply in class. Get to know new set of kids. Get to gain new stories to share and post. But what will not change is that look in every child’s bright eyes and see their excitement to learn.

A 1-page year-end requirement: Summary of my First Year of teaching.

Renewal and Direction

Today is Thursday.

Monday was Nganga Monday. Tsk.
Tuesday was Laundry (Colored) Tuesday.
Wednesday was Laundry (Whites) Wednesday.
(I had to do it that way because we have limited space and hangers)
Come Thursday, I need to do something to make it a Productive Thursday.

Earlier today, I had decided to renew my PRC license. Initially, I was thinking of doing it the Business Center of the nearest SM Mall, however since I had doubts about the status of how helpful they would be able to accommodate my concern, another thing was that I couldn’t find the affidavit of loss, I decided to just process the renewal at the PRC Main Office in Morayta. I read a few blogs about PRC Renewal Process and they said that if you lost your Professional Identification Card (PIC) and it’s still current, the bearer needs to provide an affidavit of loss. However, if it is expired and loss, no need to provide one. Or as long as you know your Registration Number, no need to provide an affidavit of loss. That applies to Current and Lost PIC. Good thing, I had mine written on my old planner.

The PRC Main office was just an FX-ride away. My real worry was that I had to walk and cross the bridge. Oh well, not that really, it was the scorching heat of the sun. I don’t usually bring umbrella too. But in this case, since I really get this over and done, I had to bring one to survive. Hurray to me, I did not lose it! Mama will be so proud of me!

I came in to the PRC Main Office at around 12 noon, knowing that I may have to wait for quite awhile, I made sure that I had lunch and brought a book with me.

PRC Renewal Process goes like this:

1.       Go to the Public Assistance Booth, that is just on the left side of the gate, tell the officer-in-charge you will renew your PIC.
2.       The OIC will give you a small piece of paper you have to fill out and attach a passport size ID picture with name tag. Paste in on the slip of paper and proceed to Window 15 on the 1st Floor of the PRC Main Building.
3.       Sit down and wait for your name to be called. Waiting could be around 30 minutes. So, read. Listen to music. Watch people. Do whatever you wanna do to let time pass by. Chill. Hehe..
4.       They will call your name and you have to go to Window 17. They will give you another paper with all the printed information and amount to be paid. Pay the amount indicated on Window 23.
Renewal Fee:    Php450
Surcharge:          Php 30.00
                Mine reached a total of Php 630.00 because of the months that were past expiration date, which was August 2013, they said that the fine was Php 20/month. The breakdown was not indicated. But I was thankful it was just that amount. Moving forward, I won’t let it happen again.

5.       After payment, sit down, continue what you were doing earlier and wait for your name to be called and proceed to the Wooden Counter for the releasing of your ID. Be prepared to show the receipt as a proof of payment and be with a pen to sign on their paper for the records.

They didn’t ask for my old PRC ID. I don't have it anyway. Lels

Roughly three hours of processing. I got it the same day. Not bad.

After the renovations are completed, I am confident that renewal process will be more convenient.

Doing it at any SM Center would entail additional Php 50 as Convenience Fee and Php 80 should you decide to have the ID delivered to your doorstep. Processing takes roughly three weeks as mentioned by a friend.

Since I still had time, I decided to go to Divisoria. I wanted to buy a new dress. Instead, I got myself siomai and hopia! Finally, Hopia to brighten up my day!

The Real Deal.

I was in the apartment for another reason, I told my father that I will be enrolling to continue my MA studies. But all of a sudden, I felt lost. I haven’t been to the university to do that. The deadline for enrolment was last  April 23rd.  While on the other university where I wished to transfer, submission of application forms ended last January 10. The application for the international scholarship I wish to apply will end on the 30th of April.

My days were usually spent on formulating plans on what to do after this two-year teaching contract. I’m still torn if I want to stay here in the country and be a public school teacher or find my fortune somewhere else, if I will be blessed enough to find greener pasture elsewhere. 

I haven’t talked to my father yet. I know he won’t get mad. But I’m afraid he would ask  for the money be back. Lol.

I haven’t made up my mind. I can't make up my mind. I don't know what to do. It's like I have a goal but I don't know how to accomplish it. 

All I want is to find a job that will enable me to provide for my family, be a Sunday School teacher and let me travel and explore the world.

Tomorrow's Friday. I still have a few days left before work resumes. To Bicol or Not to Bicol? Nuninuninuninuni....

Random 04.22.2014

5:13 PM

1. Gusto ko magsulat, pero hindi ako makabuo ng idea kaya random na lang muna.

2. Walang hopia at kakaubos lang ng turon sa tindahan.Bakit?!

3. Hindi maubos ang labahan. Hindi maayos-ayos ang mga tupiin.

4. Masarap daw ako magluto ng adobo at tuna carbonara. Hihihihi.

5. May nagyaya naman magkape, pero di ko gusto ko kasi hindi ko sya close.

6. Mag-aral kaya ko ulit ng piano at violin? Matututo pa kaya.o?

7. Nakakapagod din ang byahe nang byahe. Pack. Unpack. Pack Unpack. Laundry. Pack. Unpack.

8. Ang hirap mamili ng regalo lalo na kapag ang bibigyan ay well-provided na, kung pwedeng love na lang.

9. Bigla kong na-stress sa paglalaba. Eh dapat stressbuster ko yun.

10. Di pa ko decided kung mag-eenrol ako kahit may pang-enrol na ko. Salamat kay Papa. Lipat na lang kaya ko ng school?

11. Napapadalas ang pagpunta ko sa mall. At bili ako nang bili ng ballpen.

12. Gusto ko mag-exercise, pero ayokong gumalaw, anong mangyayari sakin nito?

13. Andaming nagpupunta sa Calaguas, sabi ko pupunta ko dun. Kelan kaya... Hmmm....

14. Pancake ang lulutuin ko for dinner. Ayoko na lumabas ng bahay.

15. Matutulog ako nang maaga today.Maglalakad-lakad ako bukas at magpapapawis.

16. Katamaran, umalis ka sa katawan ko.

17. Ang lungkot ng epi 2 ng Game of Thrones, medyo lame yung epi 3 nung una, pero nung si Daenerys na yung nasa eksena, biglang bongga na! Kawawang Greyjoy. Buwisit na Lannister. Ano kayang mangyayari kay Sansa. Hay... Tomboy kaya si Arya? Lels.Yung GOT books, kumpleto pa. Yung books 3-5 nakaplastic pa. Tsk. Tsk..


5:25 PM

Happy Friday!

As early as lunch, I had been thinking of writing about what happened to my Friday. I had it all mapped out in my head ready to be typed and be part of my diary.

Today was the Graduation Day for the participants of our church's 5-day Daily Vacation Bible School. I wasn't initially part of the planning. I told myself that I will come to church to help in the kitchen prepare foods for the kids' snacks and do a video of the 5-day event. And probably, in the audio system since my little sister will be the one operating it.

That's what I thought I will do, until Wednesday, they asked if I could take over a class since they lacked teachers. Seeing that they were really having a hard time with the kids, I said yes. I had violated my summer plan of not teaching but doing something else.  I had personal doubts about the task because it has a connection with my faith and I really felt that I am not yet fit to teach these kids. Teaching in a public school is way different to teaching kids about Jesus. Not that I don't want to teach them but I just really felt that I needed more training and more cleansing to be worthy of the task at hand. To tell the truth, whenever I see the kids gathered in the auditorium, I have this urge to stand up in front and be their teacher. I couldn't day no to the head of the DVBS so I browsed on the teaching manual and took over the class, I had used an entirely different strategy. Since the kids are  ages 10-11, I took the opportunity to freely discuss with them about Jesus and salvation. It felt wonderful to be surrounded with these kids who know and live the Christian faith at a very young age. Like, I've seen myself in them when I was younger. We did artworks, posters and more free discussions. The best part of it, is when they would freely ask questions and discuss matters with each other--not fighting, cleaning up their work stations after the class and sticking together--- How I wish my kids in school can be the same. 

I don't regret I said yes to be a DVBS teacher. I enjoyed it. Every minute of it. I still feel amazed whenever the kids would follow my lead. Teach them a song once, and they get it easily. Teach them a clap, they'll do it perfectly. Ask them why Jesus loves them and they will give all sorts of answers--silly and serious answers. But in all of it, I love looking at their eyes beam with joy and laughter with this summer experience. They said, they will be back on Sunday. I hope so. 

I thought that made my day already. But wait there's more!

On my way to the house in QC, my housemate texted that I got a note from the post office-- I have to go to the QC Central Post Office and pick up a parcel under my name. Since I still have ample time, I decided to go and pick it up on the last hour because I know that I wont be back to this place until first week of May and it will be holiday. Those were just excuses. In all honesty, I was excited. Eventhough I didnt really know what it was or who sent it. 

I reached the post office, 30 minutes before closing time. As the Customs Personnel inspect the parcel, he was asking me what it was, and I just said, I don't know. I even asked who sent it. He handed me a paper from the inside of the plastic. It was the official receipt of the purchase. Looking at it, it was bought online. 

I'm not going to post the entire note but a part of it says: ......... IT'S BASICALLY A PAPER SAYING HI. FORGET IT.
It's not just a paper, and I will never forget it :D 

I can only think of a few people who would do this, however, I can't think of any reason why would they bother doing such thing. The only way I know of to immediately inform the sender that I had received it is to post it on Facebook. I posted it and in less than I few minutes, he messaged me......



Your blog may not be wholesome, but you have such a generous heart. Chos! Thank you. Thank you. I couldn't thank you enough. Sobra-sobrang dami-daming salamat.

As usual, I cried-- tears of joy and excitement. Receiving this gift, made me feel so special and wonderful. I will never forget the feeling and I am forever grateful to you. I don't know what I did to deserve a gift but still, thank you. Di mo na pwedeng bawiin. Paguwi mo na lang. Haha. May you be able to make more people happy with your surprises :)

When you get back here, I'll definitely treat you to Mang Larry's Isaw in UP-Diliman :D :D :D 

So there, I had an Awesome Wholesome Wonderful Friday.

AWW Friday!

PS: I violated my personal Lenten penitence of abstinence in Facebook but it's ok :) It wasn't really meant to be, I guess. Hahahaha...

Thursday Question

Today is Thursday. Today is Thursday. Thursday. Thursday. What a happy day!

I got used to starting my day with that song. Though, in real life, it had never been always a happy day every day. There were bad days which I'm thankful I had been able to survive in one piece.

I love watching Soulpancake videos. Here's my pick for the day:

Two strangers were invited to meet in a sandbox, where there are scattered bottles with papers in it, written are questions they had to discuss with each other. 

Since it's Throwback Thursday, let's take time to go back in time, not to look at what happened in the past but to talk about things you wish you knew when you were younger.


What are three things you wish you knew when you were younger?

1. I wish I knew when I was younger that all I have to be is  "MASIPAG" always. No room for "KATAMARAN".

2. I wish I knew when I was younger how to play the piano and I wish had taken serious intention in learning how to play the guitar. I just learned from YouTube and for fun.

3. I wish I knew when I was younger that I should never ever learn to love cats or any furball :( Hugging them and being near them would mean allergy---my eyes and nose would start to itch and I will sneeze unceasingly until my eyes are swollen red, my nose tomato-red :( huhu.. Who doesn't love any cute creature?! Tell me please. 

How about you? What are three things you wish you knew when you were younger?

Left Unanswered

This was on my Google Keep dated March, 25, 2014.

Here I am again. Watching Starting Over Again. This time, on my bus ride going to Bicol.

I signed up on that site hoping to find a date or a friend. But I really never took things seriously and had totally forgotten about it. Until I remembered to get back to it two weeks ago and read your message.

How many years have passed? Eight? Nine? I really can't remember but I can still recall how you broke my heart on my birthday. How much pain you had inflicted on my youth. It took me three years before I had found the courage to find happiness in loving and trusting someone again. Only to be broken again after a couple of years.

Of all people, why do you have to let me know that you're there? You shouldn't have sent that message. You should't have let me know.

Do we need closure or am I the only one having this uncertain feeling?
I am afraid to ask any of the two for I know any of which can still hurt me. Nonetheless, right now, with things unanswered, I am hurting. And that HOPE is really addictive.

Did you really love me back then?
On the day that we talked again, is it just me who had sleepless nights after?
Should I apologize for being this stupid and hopeful girl for asking these stupid questions?
Should I stay away?
Why do you keep on coming back?

There was this night, I remember, I saw you. I even messaged you. You replied.

Why can't you simply vanish and let me be? Or can you tell me your secret on how to live unaffected by circumstances like this?

I need to move on and stop thinking about you if this is another unrequited love or lust or whatever-could-this-feeling-be. Please tell me how to do so.

For the third time, with this movie, I cried. When will it stop affecting me?

I saw him checked my profile last April 3, 2014 but never messaged me again since March 26. As of today, I had deleted my online profile from that website. 


I told myself that I will complete all the 9 Lesson Plans today. But I was only able to complete 4 days of it. It should have been 5 but I had accidentally had overwritten the 4th with the 5th. I  should have clicked on Save As and not Save. Absent-minded me. The 20 LPs are due on Friday to be used by the candidates on training next month. Lucky them, we are here to make these for them. During our time, as the pioneer batch, we did everything on our own. LPs, visuals, and no one is there to give up tips on how to execute it since the supervisors lacked the experience. They were all from private sector before deciding to move to this NGO. I am not complaining. I am just saying that they are lucky ones. I am happy for them and for this organization as things are getting better and better in terms of workflow and workload.

I jogged early this morning. I did two rounds on the oval today and 20 crunches. I hope to make that 50 tomorrow and 100 next time. Hurray to that! It's my second day of doing so and it feels good!

We all choose people we trust and whom we spill all the beans, I mean totally spill all the beans. Tonight, I chose to spill it out on my housemate. He knew that I had been down lately.

I was looking at the plaque given to me during the Recognition Day, I told him, "Grabe, nakita pa talaga ni Sofia yun, eh nilagay ko na nga lang dyan para hindi obvious.".

"Sa totoo lang, I don't feel worth it. Buti na lang talaga na-inspire sila. Yung mga college classmates ko, tapos na sila ng MA studies and I am not even halfway with mine."

"Alam mo Kat, I stopped counting mine. There was this time that I was comparing myself to this classmate of mine na laging nagta-travel abroad, pero I just decided not to compare myself." This came from from somebody who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the most prestigious university in the country. Who can have all the better opportunities but had given it all up to teach. Had given up a job that gave him the chance to go around the country and probably, would have been given the chance to represent our country in international conferences.

"Minsan kasi, I really can't help but compare myself to them. Aminin mo, ikaw din." Hirit ko.

"Basta, pagdating ng panahon, makita ko yung mga estudyante kong maayos ang buhay, dun ko na talaga mararamdaman ang success ko."

"God works in mysterious ways talaga, you know the story of the two carrots?"

"Hindi." Sabi ko.

"Yung isang carrot, konti lang yung dahon, pero yung bunga sa ilalim, malaki, tapos yung isa, mayabong ang dahon, pero yung carrot mismo, maliit lang."

Which carrot would I choose to be? Of course, the one with the not so thick leaves but with big carrots down below which means, it had grown on it's purpose. We take benefit from the crop not the leaves, right?

Another conversation I had with one of the first people I met in this job.
"Anong plans mo ba after this? Will you teach for good na?
"Oo naman. Hindi ko lang alam kung dito or somewhere else. Ang gusto ko lang yumaman. Hehehe"
"Alam mo when I decided to teach. Narealize kong hindi talaga ko yayaman, kelangan ko talaga ng iba pang raket para maka-survive."
"Ayun na nga eh."

Last Friday, I received this message from a parent:

As I have mentioned, I was not yet ready to let go because I felt like I haven't really given those kids enough of what they should really learn. But receiving this message, made me feel wonderful. Plus, she came to school to pick up her daughter's card and gave me ice cream! I'm a happy kid :)

Today, I got this comment:

I could't agree more. If it's possible to put unlimited Like on that comment, I would!

I feel a little bit better now. I just need to come home to feel better-er. Haha. If there is such a word. I didn't eat ice cream today. I had iced coffee. I made it myself.

Soulpancake, iced coffee, new books to read courtesy of my housemate, a family waiting for me to come home, what more can I ask for. I should really get my **** together-- now, I'm telling that to myself because my bestfriend is not here to remind me. September is still away. I still have a few months of organized schedule, because once he is back home, it's gonna be like this: "Dudie, where are you? Change clothes na. I'll pick you up in 30 minutes. Let's drink." But since we are getting older, and way past the boy-hunting stage of my life, as I had decided "the one" should come find me, it's gonna be two-bottles nights and coffee to cap the night.

For now, let me finish all these 20 LPs. Then on Friday, I will go back to the first LP I had known together with the other fellows-- LOADING POINT Bar and Resto in Xavierville Ave., Katips.

Hello April. You will be an awesome month. I promise.