Finding Possibilities in Difficulties

Earlier during the recognition program of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies of the University of the Philippines Open University, I was given the opportunity to give the message on behalf of the graduating students.

I will be forever grateful for the chance given to me. I hope I  live up to the expectations for an Iskolar ng Bayan. 🙂

Allow me to share the speech I delivered earlier:

FMDS officials and staff, dear professors, fellow graduates, families and friends in attendance, good morning. 

It’s fascinating to be here, standing before you all, particularly my classmates and professors whom I only interacted with online for the past two years. It’s funny that we only get to meet and bond on our day of recognition and graduation. A few weeks ago we were just joking among ourselves in our FB group what award we would give each other. I got the “Master Procrastinator award”. One had the “Master Crammer’” and another had the “Comments only during school season” award. Such is the testament that today education and establishing relationships know no boundary. And we are blessed that UPOU and our professors are here to help us take advantage of how modern technology can revolutionize education. 

Continue reading “Finding Possibilities in Difficulties”


Managing How to Work, Study and Travel Simultaneously

The other week, my classmates and I were joking on our Facebook group what we would award each other for our upcoming graduation this July 25. One classmate said he would give me a “Master Procrastinator Award”. I was appalled so I asked him why.

He replied, “Because every time I am cramming for our paper or an exam, I would see in your posts that you are either in Korea, El Nido or some random beach. You don’t seem to be bothered by school or work at all”.

Am I one?? (Image credits to

I was surprised that some of them had a perception that I am a “procrastinator”, so I clarified that when I am on travel, I bring my iPad and laptop. I study while waiting in airports and ports. I write papers at night or during the wee hours of the morning. I always put my phone on roaming to make sure I don’t miss anything work or school-related while I am overseas. Simply said, I multitask.

I always get questions related to this: How do you juggle things? How do you manage to keep up at work and school and still get to travel? So I thought I’d share of some of “tactics” of how I managed to do all three for the past years:

1. Multitask but do so efficiently. This is inevitable. I am not someone who can let go of my day job just to prioritize school or travel. I don’t have someone who I can say I can lean on  in case I get into financial trouble. I don’t want rely on scholarships either because in the Philippines, more of often than not, stipends are delayed. I also still send money to my family back home every once in a while. Multitasking is not ideal, but to be able to do all things I want to do and have to do, this is the compromise I make.

I am lucky enough that my classes are online. So while on travel, I can still participate in class discussion late at night or write papers at dawn. When I have something important for work that coincides with my travel, I usually check my email at least three times a day to make sure my workmates would still get the information they need from me.

Continue reading “Managing How to Work, Study and Travel Simultaneously”

School Girl

Back in my college days in UP, when a classmate or a friend labels you jokingly as a “school girl”, it means that you were too focused on your studies that you almost don’t have a social life anymore. I had been called as such several times primarily because even though I was active in dormitory activities, I didn’t have any organizations. During my free time I was either found in the library or the dormitory.

 I felt sad when I was called as such back then because I thought being focused on my studies was actually never a negative thing. Also, I had my reasons for not joining any campus organizations. I was a working student and just balancing work and studies was already difficult.

Continue reading “School Girl”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Colorful Men and Women of Science

I have  always been surrounded by men and women of science. I studied in science high school, took up Chemistry in college, and currently I work for an R&D institution.  “Science people” may appear nerdy and boring to some, but to me they are probably the most interesting and colorful people on earth. Why? Because of their innate curiosity for almost anything under and beyond the sun, they are also the ones who are most open to change and tolerate tons of useless information. The people of science is literally and figuratively of all colors.

Check out the colorful entries for this week’s challenge at Daily Post .

Credits to PCHRD for some of the pictures used in this entry.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Huwaw! It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted and I feel so bad for missing last week’s photo challenge. >_< February is madness! I’ve traveled to Caramoan Islands last week, succumbed into office chaos brought by the ISO external surveillance, and finally, I went back forth from Paranaque to UP Diliman to  work out the requirements for my graduate school application. But all is well now! I’m super done. Earlier, I submitted my application and now I just have to wait for the results. In a few days, I will also be posting my Caramoan travel diary series. Now, there’s nothing left to do but more forward! Hurray!


Check out the other posts for this week’s challenge at Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

How do you define home? Or when can you tell when a place has turned into a home?

I hardly stay in one place. The place where I was born is different from where I grew up. I studied elementary, high school and college in three different places. And now that I am working, I am staying in a different place again. I’ve lived for almost 12 years on my own now and I hardly feel homesick anymore. But then I thought… when I’m homesick, which home am I referring to?

  • Naga City saw me as the traveling toddler. While my memories on this aspects of my life are very vague, Naga reminds of how I developed my love for traveling and mingling with people.
  • Iriga City saw me take my first steps in discovering my dreams. I spent my formative years in Iriga City and it is the place I literally call my hometown.
  • Pisay saw me break my backbone and re-establish it. It is where I realized that  there is a larger world beyond the one I already knew and there are lot of people of who are better than me. Despite all the hard experiences in Pisay, it is one of the most significant ‘homes’ because it is where I met the people I now call “friends for life”.
  • UP.  If Pisay was a world outside of my world, UP is the universe outside of those two worlds. If  in Pisay I discovered there a lot of people who was better than me, in UP I discovered I was just another human being–unless I make a difference I can call my own. I hardly know anyone there now that I’ve already graduated but every time I step on UP ground there is a familiar feeling of “Yes. I’m back. UP, can you see me?”. There’s an unspoken sense of familiarity among people who don’t even know each other.
  • Paranaque, Paranaque is a unique case. Can I call it  home already? I don’t think so. Right now, it just serves as place where I can sleep right after work. And while I feel that I am in a stage where I feel closest to myself, I still feel so lost and Paranaque doesn’t provide the kind of solace I feel in my so- called homes.
Which one is home?
Which one is home?

So what’s in a home? I guess it’s the sense of familiarity and warmth that a place evokes in you. That sense can come from people such as family and friends whom you can always go back to. It could also  simply come from memories of  how a place had once been a significant part of your life.

P. S. I actually wrote this way back in June 2011 but somehow I never posted this. When I saw this week’s theme, I said to myself, “Ah, the time has come”. Sorry for the outburst of words and the lack of pictures but I feel I have expressed myself better by posting this.

Check out what home means to other people at Daily Post .

(Blast from the Past) Life in Color

My Chem blockmates back in college.

This picture has a very special place in my heart. This was the picture that our Chemistry batch submitted for the UP College of Science 2009 yearbook. But aside from the fact the these people are of my amazing four-year stay in UP Diliman, I like this picture more because of what it represents: color. The concept we had for this pictorial is literally nerdy: There is so many elements in the periodic table. When combined with other elements, the products are compounds of all sorts of color. Compounds of transition metals are the most beautiful ones because they form compounds of bright colors. In short, Chemistry is not a boring science. It is essentially, full of colors.

But more than Chemistry itself, what “color” connotes transcend to me, to the people in the picture, to our stay in UP and to life in general. There’s so much that life has to offer. There’s so much to see. There’s so much to experience. Essentially, there should be no room for boredom. Our life for now may be limited to a certain area or if you’re lucky you can be the type to who gets to travel to new places. Either way, the way our life turns out to be  is a product of how we choose to live it.  If you dwell in negativity, pretty much your surroundings will also treat you negatively.

Have a great day everyone! 🙂

The Bleary Plight of Pisay Scholars

I’ve been bothered by a post of a friend in FB regarding the contract of Pisay students that it prompted to me to write this.

We were always told in high school that being a Pisay Scholar is a privilege. A lot of students dream of entering the school and only a few pass the rigid entrance exam. Privilege. I agree. Being in Pisay has a lot of perks: the stipend, the free books, the free use of dorm, etc. What I valued the most is the advanced level of learning the system uses and it certainly helped me in making my college years less thunderous.

Of course the privilege comes with heavy responsibilities and consequences. We have to take a science and technology course and we are not allowed to migrate while we are in the process of completing the course. Before we enter Pisay, we sign a contract  agreeing to these terms and in addition we have to reimburse the amount of the scholarship in case we violate the terms of the contract.  Unfortunately, we sign the contract at the age of 12, 13? So, our parents have to sign in our behalf as our legal guardian.

Now here comes the problem. What if… what if… a student realizes science is not really his inkling and he doesn’t want to pursue a science course in college? Whether he withdraws while he still in Pisay or even before/during college, he will pay the same consequences. Furthermore, he will also be placed under the DFA watchlist. Yes, we are on the DFA watchlist and we have to get a clearance before we can go out of the country. The same condition applies to all DOST scholars.

Continue reading “The Bleary Plight of Pisay Scholars”

So Long, Pav II


I woke up today to a sad news that part of the UPD Institute of Chemistry (IC) is now turned to ashes. A lot of things immediately flashed on my mind: the people who could be doing labwork during the fire, the equipments, the glasswares, the possibility of an explosion to due to a gas leak, cancellation of classes, and so on and so forth. This is definitely a big loss to the science community of UP Diliman. Continue reading “So Long, Pav II”