Category Archives: Work and more Work

The Return of the Ateneolympics


[I was going for a more nostalgic route but couldn’t incorporate all details in a congruent thought.  I was going to write about how my mom shared her Ateneolympics days through  her bowling days when I was growing up… And how much I enjoyed watching my High School teachers showing their passion and competitiveness on the court… And how badly I longed to be part of it that when I was finally hired, the initial disappointment of finding out it wasn’t a regular thing in school anymore was such a sad blow.  Add to that the lack of opportunity to be more active and hone my “skills” in games.  Oh well… Anyway, I opted to take on a different voice in sharing my thoughts instead.]

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As early as June 2016, talks about the possible return of the Ateneolympics in school started circulating around the Unit.  Sports enthusiasts from various members of the Faculty and offices have been abuzz with excitement on events to sign up for and to begin preparations as representatives for their respective units.  A wide array of sporting events was open to all who were interested to sign up.

 The Ateneolympics was participated by the Grade School Unit, Junior High School Unit, Senior High School Unit, College Unit, and the Non-Teaching Personnel.  The games kicked off last October 1, 2016 with ball games for both men and women into Basketball and Volleyball.  Other events such as Badminton, Bowling, Swimming, Darts, Table Tennis, Scrabble, and Chess were scattered throughout the months of October and November leading up to its culmination last November 12, 2016.  The closing ceremony started with the track meet followed by a mass for all units after which a series of parlor games in between the championship games of both Basketball and Volleyball.  It was capped off by the Cheering competition and the awarding ceremony for all individual, dual, and team sports wherein the College unit emerged as the overall champion.

It was refreshing to see teachers exhibit their skills and expertise in their favorite sport.  It came as a great surprise and delight for spectators and fellow athletes alike to discover a kindred spirit in their love for a particular sport and flexing long-unused muscles to battle it out during each game.  Teachers are well-known for their passion – their love for their profession, the endless desire to learn and impart knowledge, and their drive to always make a difference.  But seeing it in a whole new environment and outside the classroom is all the more exciting and inspiring knowing that their thirst for excellence and fairness goes beyond the classrooms and the pupils but extends to the people that surround them – their teammates, and their colleagues.

So?  What keeps you active these days? 

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Broadway Bound (Again)


Less than a week to go before our “Off to Broadway” production in Grade 1 and I’m at my wits end here.  Compared to last year, I seem to have started much earlier for this year’s preparations.  But still – somehow – I’m barely hanging.

I guess it’s the rehearsals that are getting to me.  Less than two weeks to teach new songs to two groups of pupils (ranging from 6 to 7 yr olds) for their performances is like going on a specops mission… you’re not sure how it’ll turn out but definitely hoping for the best possible outcome amidst forces you can’t control.

Anyway, November 25, 2016 is D Day.  So I’ll just have to wing it and keep my fingers crossed.

Just to keep me inspired, I’m sharing some photos of last year’s “Broadway Bound” Production.

Opening Salvo – Dance Club

MAGIC TO DO from PIPPIN

First Performance: BE OUR GUEST from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Second Performance: GETTING TO KNOW YOU from THE KING AND I

Intermission with…

Our very own Fantine with her rendition of ON MY OWN from LES MISERABLES

Broadway Medley of Pippin’s CORNER IN THE SKY, Mamma Mia’s I HAVE A DREAM, The Little Mermaid’s PART OF YOUR WORLD, Hercules’ GO THE DISTANCE, and Annie’s I THINK I’M GONNA LIKE IT HERE.

Third Performance: WHEN I GROW UP from MATILDA

Fourth Performance: ONE SHORT DAY from WICKED


Special Performance: FOR GOOD from WICKED

Closing Performance: Glee Club

SEASONS OF LOVE from RENT

I take off my hat and salute all who made it possible… these wonderful people!!!

Labels


I remember how surprised and a little bit impressed the Guidance Head of my University was during our interview for the Peer Counselors Society – a club I wanted to join in college – when I was able to explain the importance of putting words on feelings.  I said that “when we are able to identify feelings, we acknowledge and accept them for what they are.  Thus leading to addressing it properly.”

I guess that got the nod of approval for me to be one of the few who became club members.

When I started working in the academe, working with young children proved how important it was for them to put a name on how and what they feel in order to help them process it.  Last year, it became detrimental that a child acknowledges how he feels to help him resolve conflict among his peers and within himself.  Sometimes it was easy, but during other times… it required more rationalizing.

For those who worked with different individuals, I think you know what I mean.  The use of proper terms and correct labels can make or break the discussion.

But then labels, when attached to someone’s personality and not the behavior nor emotions, become factors of contention.  Recently I’ve been hearing a number of concerns from my co-workers on how easily others would complain about the behavior of pupils in their class (just because they’ve self-diagnosed or heard that may have some special needs).  It has become bothersome how quickly they put their hands up in surrender when a child misbehaves in the classroom, conveniently complaining that they can’t manage them in class because the kid won’t listen nor participate.

Take Rod for example.  He’s a new student and has transferred from a small school of a population of 16 pupils in his class (from his previous school), to an estimated current class size of 35 pupils in a very big school.  Add to that he is raised by his fraternal grandparents.  His parents are not together.  He sees his dad when he’s in town and has never seen his mother for a very long time.  He’s an only child and spends most of his time with his grandparents.  He’s not allowed to play computer during weekdays but is allowed to watch YouTube during weekends.  During the few times I’ve observed him, he tends to put up walls when he gets scolded, or when his classmates keep on reminding him on how to behave.  The same behavior has also been observed by his grandparents as they disclosed during one of our meetings whenever Rod gets reprimanded.  He only eases up when he is approached in a more calm manner.

It’s only been 3 months since the start of the school year.  And I believe he’s still in his period of adjustment.  So many stimuli around him, accompanied with so many changes, and so many baggages he’s carrying in his little 6-year old shoulders.  During the conference I had with his guardians.  I suggested behavior modification (complete with contract signing and token-reward system) as initial intervention.  I found no need for referral to an expert or a DevPed during this time yet.  The grandparents were quite cooperative, and I was very optimistic.  I updated and informed the persons involved of the plan.  However, I was much surprised when a certain individual kept on egging me on that I was aware of Rod having special needs.  Which, in turn, I explained again that I only saw his emotional need to be very high.  No need to label his behavior of not listening to the teacher, and standing up during class hours as AD or whatsoever knowing that a number of teachers were able to manage him well during their own subject’s time.

Since when has effective classroom management been replaced by convenience just so the need for processing be circumvented?  Shouldn’t it be a collaborative effort to help address the concern?  Why is it suddenly convenient to put a label on pupils that they have special needs and should be diagnosed to address their behavior?  On my own observation?  Yes, they do have special needs.  But not the kind that needs to be assessed by experts.  The special need that I am talking about pertains to their need to be understood.  To understand the individual contexts each child is coming from.

I guess that’s the challenge now.  To know when to use the proper labels, and when labels are proper… and necessary.

Counseling and Me


Some people think that counselors have an easy job. Often, others think that they (counselors) just stay in the comforts of their own offices and relax until they are needed. I beg to differ. Counseling is more than just a profession. It is a vocation – a calling.

Counseling is a tough job

Counseling requires skills and capabilities that are measured not by the quantity of the output, but of its quality. There is no TOS (Table of Specifics) nor general lesson plans that can be followed in helping each individual as they encounter the road bumps of their lives. As counselors journey with their clients, they are brought to deepest and darkest moments of these special people who are in their most vulnerable moments and become witnesses of the inner strength and revel in their potential as they struggle in overcoming their issues.

Counseling is for the strong and open of heart

Counseling is like believing in the magic of miracles. It is with the belief and the knowledge that just by being there – actively listening, quietly accepting – we make the world a better place for those who are lost and confused. As we see the each little challenge and success of our clients, we become empowered in being the best that we can be. Always looking at the bright side of the horizon.
As clients open up to us, although we are one with them in their journey, it does not break us down as humans but build our character as we are called to serve.

But most of all, counseling is all about knowing your own person – identifying strengths and weaknesses and making the most of improving yourself. It’s about being genuinely you without invading someone’s unique individuality. It is achieving harmony and balance between the possible and the impossible.

“We are sent into the world to live to the full everything that awakens within us and everything that comes toward us.” – John O’ Donohue

Consistently Overwhelmed


My first two weeks in my new work has passed in a such a flurry of activities.  Truthful to say that today would have been my first day of REST and sleeping in late.  But somehow, my internal alarm is still on overdrive.  I just hope my adrenaline rush would decrease today and savor the moments I have away from work and studies.

Don’t get me wrong!  The dynamics related to my work has been such a welcome change in my lifestyle that I have to constantly raise the bar of my energy just to keep up with it.  Though it’s still to early to tell, but the relationships I’ve started to establish with  my colleagues is quite refreshing and utterly familiar – feels like coming home.

I still have a lot of anxieties at work and it’s a process in scheduling priorities and constant learning.  Feelings of inadequacy occasionally knocks on my door but thankfully enough, rising up and besting it through available means (such as consultations with superiors and peers) have been very helpful.

With the steady rise of responsibilities – substituting in classes, meetings, consultations, scouting, submission of requirements, SUPER late enrollment in my Masters, etc. – and expectations – KRAs and KPIs – laid out ahead, I am still at awe that I haven’t cracked yet.  Embracing one’s strengths and weaknesses equips a person better in facing challenges.  And the fact that a person is given a chance in putting his/her two cents worth in a proposal is quite humbling.

On a different note, going back to school after years of being away from the Academe can be quite daunting.  Too many theories and practices that I have long forgotten (or maybe are just hidden in the secret recesses of my mind) seems to cause a small migraine and mini heart attack when I start thinking about ALL I need to review.  I guess you get the picture.

My first two days back in school has been quite full of recaps and cramming.  3 hours per subject every week may seem too short, but then again.  It’s not college anymore.  Outputs are reflective of once professionalism, stocked knowledge, passion, and mastering your craft.

In my case: #PanicModeOn

So for those who have been following my blog, please forgive me if I might not be able to post anything new for long periods of time.  I am honored of your genuine interest and thank you for always dropping by.  I’ll be posting updates on my research and hope you’ll be able to shed light in my thoughts.

Till then!

A Perfect Fit


The sound of the rain outside my bedroom window serves as a perfect encore of standing ovation on such a whirlwind day.  I have just been given my notice for my employment with my alma mater.

A career shift to my once-desired-chosen-path actualized.  A self-fulfilling prophecy.  A dream come true.

Mom’s beside herself with joy.  A couple of my former high school teachers are ecstatic.  My friends are all excited.

So am I.  I  simply cannot explain the plethora of emotions coursing throughout my body with such a news.  Suddenly, I feel inept.  The insecurities I’ve had while still in school seem to wash over me.  With five years of doing only HR work, detached from the academic world, how could I be competent in the development of young students?  In addition, I have to finish my postgraduate studies in two years time.

Makes me think that I am way over my head.  But then again, I’ve been wanting to pursue my masters degree for quite some time now, and this is the right push I’ve been needed.  Though it seems more of a shove now.

It’s just amazing how life works out.  I remember projecting to myself when I was still young that I’d like to finish my Master’s degree within two years and look at how fate decides.  Funny, right?

Frankly, I’m a bit worried… and overwhelmed.  Worried that I might not finish in two years my masteral and lose my job.  (Quite a possibility too since last day of late enrolment for MA was today and I still need to take an Entrance Exam to check if I’d be qualified.  I just hope I’ll pass the exams this coming Thursday, and that my new head would be kind enough to help me smooth over my  late enrolment.  I don’t think I can accomplish finishing my masters within a year and a half only.)  And overwhelmed of the responsibilities my new job entails even when I haven’t started yet.  It seemed so easy to theorize during the interview.  The actuation process is the tricky part.  Time to suit up!

Well.. I Won’t know until Monday on how this goes, but I’m wishing for the best!

I’m not perfect.  But I hope to be a perfect fit in my new job.

A Turn in the Month


It’s almost been a month since I resigned from my previous job.  I have relished on the past few weeks waking up anytime I wanted to, then going back to sleep again.  Feels like high school summer.  And for the past few days, it’s been a sick season for me.  I’ve been under the weather due to colds.  I couldn’t go out, break a sweat healthily, and I wasn’t up for the task in taking care of my business (seeing that it was handling food and giving it out to students).

Unemployment bombs.  Really.  I’m slowly depleting my savings and it’s not a happy thought.  I’ve only applied to one company and although a lot of people might question the wisdom of my decision, let me just state that  the vacancy I have applied for has been my dream job ever since I was still in high school.  For almost the whole month, I’ve gone through a panel interview, battery of Psychology tests, and the English proficiency.  There’s another test that I’m still scheduled for… with the date not yet set.

Quite… saddening really.  But I’ll live.

One thing I’m thankful for is the time I get to spend catching up on my reading, and watching series finales to unfold.

When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.

– Avatar Aang, Legend of Korra S1 Finale

Begrudgingly (to say the least), I resolved to make the best out of my small business.  It suddenly became clear to me how I envisioned how it would look like to make it genuinely appealing to my target clientele.  Since our space is a bit small, a quaint snack place would fit right in.  This morning, I started in making a rough draft for my Ice Craze when I received a phone call from the HR of my alma mater asking me if I was still available for the position I have applied for and that I am to report on Monday to the unit I was interviewed on, and go to the HR office on Saturday!

I’m not yet 100 % certain if I’ve been accepted, but things are looking up!

Wish me luck on both my endeavors!

It’s Okay…


I’ve made mistakes.  No matter how much I avoid committing mistakes or having lapses, it’s one of the things that always haunt me in my work life.

I guess I’m really not cut out for the corporate scene.  It’s such a cutthroat world for me.  Ideas denied, principles threatened, emotional stability shaken.  I guess I’m too AWARE of the things around me that I also over-think things.  Yes I know I’m not making sense but I have a thing about sharing what bothers me in full detail.  I prefer thinking about it to myself before I’m actually ready to share it.

Anyway, I’m once again at a limbo.  Like I said, I made a mistake.  A lapse, an error.  I apologized, explained my side and was willing to accept what sanctioned reprimand they were ready to throw at me.  More than less I knew how this SHOULD have played out.  Unfortunately, compared to a corporation, family-owned businesses tend to have a different train of thought.

SIGH.

So I’m at a standstill once again.  But, I’m not too worried for myself… YET.  I have accepted my mistake.  And although I wish things would have been handled more fairly, it wasn’t my call anymore.

I need to pave a different career path.  Find my bliss and explore the many possibilities open for me.

For now, my power up song is: It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay by Whitney Houston (and sung by the Glee Cast).  How my case was handled was not right, but I’m okay about it.

A Break From Work


Has it been more than a month already since my last post?  Gosh… I’ve been SO BUSY at work and other stuff that I haven’t been able to just sit down and blog.  In fact, I’m still a bit tired from a business trip to Iligan City (about a 12-hour bus ride from my hometown) to attend a Job Fair last April 2 -4.  My mind is still stressed out from the nonstop interviews and long travel alone.  Thankfully it’s Holy Week so I get to take a few days break before returning to work.

It was my first time in traveling to Iligan City.  And being alone during travels wasn’t exactly safe.  But needing an adventure and break from the office, I was willing to go (and besides, it was the company’s expense).  Just to be sure though, I checked with the bus line if there were any trips on Holy Thursday.  It wouldn’t do me any good if I got stranded there during my long weekend (plus I’d hate to miss my mom’s birthday!).   After the assurance from the bus company that there would still be trips returning to Davao, I proceeded with my preparations.  And since my mobile line wasn’t on an unlimited data plan, I checked for any available daily unlimited plans my service provider offered.  Luckily there was!  So all I needed to do was register (depending on my preferred number of days) and I was all set.  Since my phone has tethering as well, it worked on my advantage in bouncing my mobile signal via wifi, enabling my iTouch to get its signal.  Thank you techie-ness.  For Sun Cellular subscribers, click here for the details.

 Just to be extra sure that I wouldn’t get totally lost (and know exactly where I was along the trip), I utilized my iTouch map for my convenience.  Below you will find that there are 2 routes in getting to Iligan.  In terms of distance, the first route would have been the faster way (the one I took) especially if you had your own car, but due to road repairs along the highways it still took quite a long time in getting to my destination.

via BUDA route

via Butuan route

Job Fair

It was the first job fair I participated in with my new Company and it has been 2 years since the last one I attended with my previous employer.  I was half-expecting to be bored to death but I was literally deluged with a number of fresh graduates eagerly applying with our company.  Their eager faces, skeletal resumes, and idealistic responses during their one-on-one interview with me was quite endearing… bringing me back to days that I was also a part of that crowd.

fresh from their graduation celebration the day before

How I wish it were so simple.

Anyway, with all the applicants I have gathered for pending hiring and pooling, I’m excited how their lives would turn if hired with our company.  More work for me.

SIGH.

Joining the bandwagon in bringing home specialties from places traveled, I brought home Iligan’s well-known Cheding’s Peanuts.  Too bad though mom’s not allowed to eat TOO MUCH nuts (it’s her favorite!).

Cheding's Peanuts

My job schedule has been very hectic lately.  The constant turnovers from one of our companies are quite difficult to handle and I myself becoming like duck’s feet underwater trying to stay afloat.  I had to be responsible in retrenching and terminating a number of employees in another company.  Seeing people cry over the loss of their means of income is very DRAINING to say the least!  I just want to get rid of the negative vibes I get when I have to confront the displaced employees.  Sometimes I get to thinking that I chose the right course but the WRONG career.  Speaking of which, I was planning on taking up post-graduate studies.  But with how my boss is, I doubt I’ll be able to pursue it.  Sure I’ve discussed it with him but he keeps thinking that I’ll be leaving my work unattended.  Regardless of the justifications I’ve made, I sense that I’m not going anyway with that conversation.

Darn.

Anyway, we’ll see  in the coming days.

By the way, here are a few photos I took during my bus ride going to and from Iligan.

Adventures in Mining


As a first project, [Aya] Charles and I went off to our first journey as HR colleagues to our mining areas.  After a few negotiations with our boss and setting up a gameplan (so to speak) for our project, our trip/visit was finally approved.

I scheduled our trip to coincide with the celebration at one mine site (so that food was bountiful… SNEAKY! LOL).  So early morning of September 7, we were on our way to Tagum City (our transfer point for our more “off-road” transportation).  So I’m going to share a few photos I took along the way.

A couple of hours away from the site

Mining Mountains

risky roads...

Our first stop (our host for our overnight stay) was at our processing plant.  We got there around 11:00AM.  So me and Aya started going through the motions of our workplan.  We started out with our orientation, then cascade, a few Q&A moments until we stopped to take our lunch.  Since we were celebrating as well, our host had their share of the lechon (roasted pig).

Lechon!! (Roasted Pig)

After lunch, we continued where we left off.  Then after all that needed to be discussed, we went into a grand tour of the area and it was great to be able to piece together each persons’ functions into the big picture.  It made our project more clear.  Since we were staying for the night at the plant, we took the liberty in heading out (accompanied by one of the big bosses) to one mine site which we passed on the way up.  We didn’t stray too long though since roads were very treacherous and the night was slowly creeping in.  Our designated driver would be having a challenging uphill drive if we stayed out too late.

Mountains by Night

So after returning to our host area, my partner and I went to go exploring around the plant and get the pulse of things as well as go to the departments we didn’t get to go to earlier.  Then dinner came, and Aya and I were gearing for a late night discussion and review preparation.  Aside from that, I also had to prepare a few contracts for new hires.   The mountain atmosphere blanketed us with a steady lull of inactivity.  And the cold mountain breeze was very soothing especially for me – a city slicker.  The cold water was a little too much for me to bear though.  Imagine ICE COLD.  And that was just from the TAP!  I dreading thinking how I’d be able to take a bath the next day since we had to leave early to go to our next site!  Sheesh!

I survived though.  Thankfully, they offered to heat up water for me to mix with the ICE COLD water.  I just had to speed up taking a bath to get it over with.  We left Wendy (since we traveled with one of our office mates who also had an “assignment” to work on at the plant) for the day and told her we’d have her picked up when we reach our last site.  It was quite refreshing not to have her tag along.  At least we’d get to focus on our agenda with the sites we visit.

Aya and I decided to divide and conquer our work activities to finish off early.  Glad we did since our second area had much to cover and a lot of them were raising their concerns too.  Lunchtime came and I got to have a taste of the extract from a sea urchin.  I forgot what it was called but if I remember right, the local term was “swaki“.  A protein-rich serving.

Uhm... What road?

Then finally, a few minutes after having lunch, we proceeded to our final area.  The baby of all mines.  So the same deal, divide and conquer to be able to finish in just a few hours.  We were looking forward to entering the tunnel too.  I’ve gone spelunking once a few years back, but this one was different.  And what’s cool is that (as per the Mining Operations Manager), I’m the first female who has ever been in the deepest mining tunnel (I forgot how many kilometers below level though).

Main line

The main line.  One of the foundations of the tunnel.

Stone's Sweat

Water droplets within the cave.  Too bad my camera couldn’t take great shots.  But if you were there, you’d be amazed by how these droplets are just hanging there.  And with just the right amount of light hitting them, they seem like precious stones peeking through the depths of the earth.

Odd Woman Out. 🙂

Yup! Odd person out!  And loving it! LOL!

Mine Buggy: Madmax

This baby buggy was just fabricated but it packs a wallop in traveling to and from the tunnel.  And it travels around the mountain roads as well!

Birds in Caves

This last photo is one of the amazing things I’ve seen inside a cave.  Birds.  Not just one, but a few couple scattered near the entrance of the cave.  The locals call it “Sayaw-sayaw“.  Sorry I couldn’t find it’s more familiar term though.  If you guys have any idea, It’ll be much appreciated.

It was raining when we finally emerged from the tunnel and since our hosts didn’t find it safe for us to travel still (in retrospect I think it had something to do with security measures as well… to mislead would-be “disturbances”).  So we had dinner at LV, and after our meal we were clear to go.

The return trip was quite long.  Good thing there were no more transfer of transportation but our travel using our “Beijing” was long and tiring.  Five to six hours sitting inside a bumpy revamped military jeep would make you sore in a few places in your body.  But thankfully, the trip back  was uneventful (sans the bumpy ride).  And the  travel to Tagum City then Davao was pretty boring (had to stay awake though to keep the driver company).

All in all, it was a one-of-a-kind work experience.  I would love to travel back there again.  We got to achieve our goal in gathering needed data to continue our review, at least now the names I list down each has a face that goes with it, orientations and cascades conducted were received well, and we’ve established good rapport with the people that I rarely see in the City.

The best part?  Hearing great comments and appreciation that our visit boosted employee morale.

Success!!!

Now on to the nitty-gritty part.  But decision’s not up to me on that part.  I just hope our proposal gets accepted!

Hope you guys enjoyed reading (and looking at the pictures).

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