Category Archives: General

Have We Ever Thought About Our Purpose in Life?

The scorching heat was unbearable at around noon a few days ago. I just finished paying my Meralco bill at the Bayad (Pay) Center near Medical City and had to rush back to the office. Thank goodness a taxi was going out of the hospital and was able to get it immediately. As usual, I sat in front.

The driver was an old man probably in his late 50s. I noticed his hands curled around as he drives and could not speak properly. I didn’t feel uncomfortable though with his driving. He drove like most of the normal taxi drivers out there.

As we move through EDSA nearer to Camp Emilio Aguinaldo where I work, there I began to realize that the old man might have some health problems. I suspect he had a mild stroke. The nearer we were to the camp, the more uncomfortable he got. I could sense it with the way he behaved. It might have been perplexing for him not to be able to speak properly when uniformed military personnel would ask where we are going once we enter the camp though gate 6. So I told him to drop me at gate 1 instead and I would just walk towards the office.

Once I got dropped off, I thought to myself that driving a taxi might have mean the world for that old man and his family…..but I had to postpone reflecting as I got back into the office and began dealing with paperworks and calls.

The thought of that old man reappeared yesterday as I was going home from the office, feeling burdened by workloads and petty personal matters. I just realized how his sense of purpose might have made him endure driving a taxi and dealing with sometimes unruly customers despite his poor physical condition.

In retrospect, that encounter with that old man made me think about “a sense of purpose”; about what it is capable of doing to people.

Maybe, just maybe, I thought a sense of purpose is what gets lolo (grandpa) to wake up everyday to drive his taxi around Metro Manila and serve customers needing a ride.

A sense of purpose is also what drives the candy vendor in the mall to wake up in the morning to go to work or a student to come to class at the university. A sense of purpose is what drives entrepreneurs to keep business moving, passionately sustains development workers to fix the most problematic of social systems and gives protagonists of humanity the courage to confront the greatest of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.

Of course, a twisted sense of purpose can create an unsatisfactory life or an unimaginable tragedy to mankind.

Nonetheless, it is apparent that people act because of a sense of purpose, regardless if its good or bad.

It would be fitting to ask then, have we ever thought about our purpose in life?

Have we ever questioned if the sense of purpose that sustains us, that make us get up everyday, leads us to a life worth living?

Have we ever thought if our sense of purpose makes the life of those around us a little bit better?

Have we ever thought…..?

Have we?


Unforgettable Trip to South Korea part 3

(c) Atty. Jeremy Gatdula of the UA&P School of Law and Governance.

(c) Atty. Jeremy Gatdula of the UA&P School of Law and Governance.

Wildy (my roommate) and I were wandering around Seoul’s vast train station. I’ve only been there twice yesterday and couldn’t figure out if I would be able to know if we were riding the right train to Kintex. Good thing, the signs were written in both Hangul and English. Wildy and I just had to know which side to enter, the several transfers we had to make and made sure that we drop by the correct station. Simple as it seemed, it gave us a lot of headaches in the first few days.

When I arrived at Kintex, delegates were already debating. I wanted to panic but I knew I had to arrive calmly and silently. I sat at the back with Guinea Bissau and another European dude. I didn’t have the chance to talk to them as much. I was immediately immersed into the conference proceedings. There’s already a whole bunch of people in the speaker’s list (the list of people who will be speaking as recognized by the Chair). If I remember it correctly, delegates were giving speeches on proposed solutions to the conflict in Bosnia. I observed first, took notes and tried to group arguments whether they were for diplomatic solutions, military intervention, humanitarian relief or other forms of political dialogue.

Our committee was composed of around 150+ single delegates (countries were represented by pair in other committees). It was a little tricky but exciting. Its called the Historical General Assembly where we went back to 1995 when the Bosnian Crisis was happening. We had to provide recommendations to the Security Council or provide peaceful mechanisms to end the conflict. The challenge was to keep certain facts given the hindsight of what happened and act as if we were at the moment. Precisely on May 1995 when UNPROFOR troops were captured and there was an impending genocide in Srebrenica. It was expected of us, if it not being our moral obligation, to make better decisions than what was made by policy-makers then. We’re doing it in real time and quiet a few moments we got updates on the ground such as Canadian Forces between captured by Serb paramilitary forces. What we were going to do and how it would impact the flow of the proceedings, were basically up to us to decide.


We were about an hour into the formal session. Somehow the discussion leaned towards the establishment of schools and provision of peace education. At that time, I found the opportunity to speak up. I got included in the speaker’s list. The first speech that I delivered was nerve-wrecking. I was planning to make a written speech but my hand was shaking that I couldn’t even write. Since computer was not permitted during formal session, I couldn’t type. When my name was called, I stood and got into the podium with whatever I had.

The first few sentences were the most difficult to start with. I saw the whole committee in its full glory and felt as if all eyes were piercing through me. Well in the middle of the speech, I just stopped caring about it as I wanted to end my ordeal. The point I wanted to raise was that the talk on education, infrastructure and health were long term goals. While they were necessary, the first thing we had to do was to make sure that conflicting parties would sit in the negotiating table, put down their arms and determine ways to create peace in Bosnia. It was only when there’s peace that public institutions can be built and strengthened to serve the people.


When I came back into my seat, notes started coming in. People were asking to form coalitions or to have lunch together and begin drafting a resolution paper. I didn’t realized then how fast moving WorldMUN was like. It was because the sessions were dominated by moderated caucuses that new ideas are being brought forth every time. There was also not much time for lobbying and resolution writing during sessions as we’re always on a moderated caucus.

I was used to the system in the Philippine MUNs where we had long unmoderated caucuses that allow me to help write resolutions and roam around the conference venue to lobby. Here, the only way I could lobby was either to pass notes (and not listen to speeches which I found important even if I didn’t agree with some people) or do it during lunch breaks. Evenings were impossible since I went to socials and I was staying in Myeongdong, which was an hour and a half away from Kintex.

The bigger challenge here was how to convince people. Eloquent lip service would lead to nowhere. A lot of delegates demanded substance. Many were brave enough to be on their own because they didn’t agree with the points raised by most delegates in the committee. The mix of delegates were simply amazing. A lot of delegates in my committee were either doing their masters or in their latter years as undergraduate students or taking Juris Doctor program (there were PhD students in other committees). We had students from Sciences Po, Korea University, University of Cape Town, Sydney, Adelaide, Kyoto, Waseda, Georgetown, Yale and NUS to name a few. The veterans and very successful delegations in past conferences were the Universidad Simon Bolivar and Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Venezuela), American Military Academy at Westpoint, American University of Beirut, London School of Economics and MUN Society Belgium (included some notable universities like the Free University of Brussels and Catholic University of Leuven). Apart from learning during conference proper, it was the friendship and network that you build with these people that would last beyond the conference itself.


The morning of the second day already had a lot of action. The bigger action was happening unnoticed because they were done through note passing. People were already forming alliances and had plans to reconcile their ideas during lunch. I was hesitant to give people a yes in joining their working group. I was still testing the waters and see which working group could accommodate my national interest and where I could contribute most productively.

The Chair then called for a short unmoderated caucus. Delegates grouped in circles inside and outside the room. I was going back and forth between those circles and listening to people sharing their ideas.

Some delegates were very smart that they were already consolidating ideas from other delegates. It only took a laptop or a notebook and patient listening to collate all the ideas of the group. These people acted as moderators in the discussion, listening more and clarifying arguments than making their own. That didn’t mean that they don’t have arguments and positions. It’s just that they let people to speak out and, later on, add their ideas in the resolution. They acted as gatekeepers who determined which ideas could make through the resolution and which would not. In that way, they were solidifying their leadership step by step. Brilliant strategy!

There I was on the side observing the groups. Obviously, groups could be very big that there were people who couldn’t speak and felt left out. Those were the people I liked to be with. In local conferences, that was how I formed alliances. Having observed around, I could look for people who had similar national interests with me and whose personalities matched with mine. In that way I was able to have few and select people to work with. It is easier to produce a resolution when all people are doing the job. They are committed and passionate to defend the resolution because they contributed in writing it. In big working groups, not everyone have the opportunity to do so. Essentially, alliances in small working groups can be stronger and more stable than bigger ones. Resolutions can be refined later or half of it could be scrapped, but the important thing is to have a resolution done immediately to allow more time to furnish it.

Another problem with haphazardly selecting allies is that differences fundamentally resting on national interests would surface sooner or later (unless one is inclined not to follow his or her national interest). Conflict of personality would strangle resolution writing as the group would be more engage on unnecessary arguments than constructive, meaningful and efficient conciliation of national (and, yes, individual) interests.

I wouldn’t say that I got this strategy head on. I was frustrated the first day because I couldn’t find an ally. I tried forming alliances several times with this or that delegate only to break down immediately. Some delegates were so blunt giving a note to me and saying that they wouldn’t want to work with me anymore because my ideas simply wouldn’t work. Inside my mind I wanted to BS that person but I had to keep my cool because I didn’t go there as a judo player or trash talker or boxer-like-Mayweather. I was there to act like a diplomat. Ergo, I had to be diplomatic.

I honestly found those statements sarcastic. A lot of Filipinos and Asians in general don’t usually put disagreements into the open, like telling people you don’t agree with them in the face. We’re into euphemisms. Many Europeans and Americans are straightforward. WorldMUN taught me to better understand where people’s actions were coming from, either from their culture, experiences or upbringing which could be markedly different from mine. I think every delegate and world leaders, in reality, have to deal with a lot of people different from theirs. Or worst they don’t like. Putin and Obama everyone?

To think of it, dealing with people different from myself or I didn’t like was a little price to pay if children in Bosnia was to feel safe in their homes, a wife relieved knowing her husband has been released from concentration camp, a girl unafraid of being raped by soldiers who wanted to get even on their enemies or a student my age could finally walk free, live free and enjoy life because there’s peace and a prosperous future to look forward to.

At WorldMUN, delegates are being trained to make those sacrifices to better the lives of many people around world. Such an important lesson for everyone to learn in order to make WorldMUN life changing indeed.

Part 4 to follow.

Unforgettable Trip to South Korea Part 1

Wow! Just can’t imagine how long it has been since my last blog post. It feels so strange to write a blog again and seems like I have to re-learn how to post! So much has happened and it’s tricky to determine one event that made the most impact in my life since my last post. There are a number of them and I guess I’ll have several posts on that.

Perhaps one of the highlights of my life recently was the Harvard World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) that I’ve attended last March in Seoul. Model United Nations is a simulation of the proceedings in the United Nations and, sometimes, conferences include other notable international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union (EU) and even the Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China. Simulations allow students to get a glimpse of the policy-making process and engage in debates, coalition building, research, resolution writing and many more.

WorldMUN claims to be the olympics of MUN. While I could not compare it to other international MUNs because it was the only one I have attended (I have attended a few local MUNs), I should say that it was the most intense MUN I’ve been to. Imagine having 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students from 118 countries participating in the conference. Each student brings with them their worldview, shaped by their own culture, education and experiences in life. That enriches the debates and the proceedings of the conference. It is just amazing to debate on pressing issues with some of world’s top students.

This year, the conference lasted for 5 days from March 16 to 20, 2015. There were more than 20 committees. I was assigned as a single delegate at the Historical General Assembly where the topic touched on the Bosnian Crisis.




Probably many would think of the difficulty that went into the 5 days of the conference, but that was just a tip of the iceberg. There were so many things that went before the conference proper. The weekly trainings, the research, the struggle of juggling between MUN and demanding academic and org responsibilities, raising money for the trip and basically planning the whole thing; those needed a lot of effort, patience and determination.

It was so funny how I got into WorldMUN and MUN in general. I saw a link on Facebook around November, I think, and I tagged the Secretary General of the university’s MUN, Nic Espinoza, and another brilliant MUN dude, Jian Manjares. 

Nic and Jian got so excited that the comments section of the post seemed to have burst with their enthusiasm. I didn’t get the MUN fever then, but after talking to Nic and the people who were doing MUNs in the university later on, I realized how fun and fulfilling it could be.

The road to WorldMUN introduced me to local conferences as well. The first one I’ve attended was BenildeMUN 2014, the oldest MUN in the country, hosted by (as the name suggests) the De La Salle College of St. Benilde. I didn’t know what to expect and I had to observe and look at how people worked. From then I took off and became more comfortable doing the next 2 local conferences that I would be attending: Ateneo MUN and De La Salle MUN.

When it came to preparation, I had to thank Nic for his commitment. There were times when the whole delegation would not take trainings seriously. One saturday Nic could not attend training because he had class. So what we did, to his disappointment, was sneaked in and just watch a movie about Kim Jong Un (whatever that was!). Despite being jackasses sometimes, Nic perservered and made sure we could get the best training we could have, given our limitations (in time, knowledge, etc.). So much respect for the guy.

The other members of the delegation were no less than inspiring. We had a bunch of delegates from first to fifth year in the university. I was impressed how the younger members of the delegation took the role of playing diplomats seriously, discussing international issues passionately and critically. We’re each other’s biggest supporter and staunchest critic at the right time. Being a latecomer in the MUN team, I had to ask questions, strategies and rules of procedures from younger batchmen and women. In universities, senior students often act superior to younger students. But in our delegation, we’re like friends. Our relationships were not anchored on hierarchies. I’m also thankful to Dr. de Leon for giving me a few insights to help me in my research.


The day we’ve been waiting for and, I’m quiet scared of, came at last. It was 8:30 p.m. and I was standing in front of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) HQ and couldn’t get a taxi!

I was freaking out because like in previous foreign trips (I only had two by the way before Seoul), I knew that one was expected to come 3 hours earlier before departure time. The departure time in my case is 12 am. Since I couldn’t get a taxi in DepEd, I took all my baggages and went to Escriva Drive which was on the other end of the village where I lived. No one will know how much uncomfortable it was to me. I’ve already worn my thermals to prepare for the cold because I didn’t want to change clothes in the plane. Imagine me walking from one end of the village to another, carrying all my baggage and wearing 1 layer of winter clothes in sweltering tropical heat! That was insane.

When I got a taxi, I was sweating like crazy. I wanted to remove my shirt but thank goodness the taxi was airconditioned so I didn’t have to. The thing was, the sweat dried up and further put stress to my already sickly body. Days before leaving for Seoul, I was doing my fieldwork for thesis and had an exam. Well, I was a little sickly for the rest of the trip in Korea because of all that. Fail!

I arrived at the airport around 9:30 pm, not well into the 3 hour time I thought needed for an international flight. After checking in, I met Mandy and we went to Starbucks at the airport where Alec was staying. Wildy came in later. Nic followed. These people would be my laughing buddies for the rest of the trip.



We arrived in South Korea early in the morning and it was -2 C. I was freezing. That was my first time in a cold country. But that didn’t bother me so much because South Korea was beautiful. I seemed to have forgotten that I was cringing due to the cold.



Their infrastructure, their roads in particular was wide, no traffic, and the bridges and all construction works extended as long as the eyes could see. “This was what development was like”, I thought to myself.

The moment we arrived at the inn, we just changed clothes and went out for sight seeing. Some delegates attended a Catholic mass. Unfortunately, I found it hard to find an English Christian service around the area even after asking the concierge at the inn and looking online. So I decided to go with Mandy and Alec. We went to Myeongdong and took breakfast somewhere in the narrow back alleys we’ve explored. Alec ordered bibimbap, Mandy some yellow soup or porridge (I guess) and I got noodles. Finally we were able to taste Korean cuisine in Korea. 

Afterwards, we went around Myeongdong, in the shopping areas. It was fascinating because high end shops had their own individual buildings and small stalls occupied the middle of the streets a la cleaner version of Divisoria x Greenbelt in the Philippines.

Honestly though, I prefer to shop in the Philippines where our malls are like EVERYTHING. Foreigners who’ve been to the Philippines would know. The high end or low end stuff will depend on which mall you go into. And for me its more easier to navigate around our malls because all the smaller shops are there. In South Korea, the malls I’ve been too were practically the department stores we have here. Just one component of our malls.

This is my opinion though. Maybe other people prefer the way it is done in South Korea or the country has more than what I’ve explored.


When I was in South Korea, I had some inner urge to speak Tagalog rather than English. Growing up I used to speak only in Tagalog. But when I went to college, I still spoke in Tagalog frequently but English basically was the first language that I was using. Honestly, I have to admit, that unfortunately, English is viewed in the Philippines (like in many countries) as more sophisticated, it’s thought to be cool and signifies higher social status and education.

In South Korea, I felt pride in speaking a language I can call my own. People there spoke Korean and, to some extent, English. 

Later in the conference, people spoke a whole lot more languages. Some I didn’t even know to have existed! The first day, there were multitudes of people in Kintex. People of all colors and languages. Undergraduate and Graduate students from 118 countries. Imagine that! I met people from Canada, South Africa, Indonesia, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Britain, Italy, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India, Taiwan, France, Belgium, Spain, United States, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and Mexico. That was just during the first day. During the orientation!

In that situation, I felt pride in speaking a language that only I and the people from my country understood. It differentiated me and the Filipinos from other people in the conference. The feeling of having your own identity and unique characteristic seemed to have electrified me deep into my bones. Although with UA&P delegates I still spoke in Tag-lish (Tagalog x English) most of the time, I’ve never felt as proud of my language and as proud of being a Filipino than when I was in South Korea.

Funnily, I had to leave for a moment during the orientation because I forgot my wallet in the café near Daehwa train station (thank God I got it back).

In that short amount of time though, I had some time to reflect. I sensed an irony. Despite being proud of my country, language and culture, I was surprised how shocked I was by the multitude of people and felt intimidated talking to other delegates, especially to Americans and Europeans. I didn’t think they were imposing their superiority as what colonizers did to Filipinos in the past. It was my own conception of inferiority (and I believe its true for many, not all,  delegates from developing countries) that made me feel no good compared to them.

As I continued walking towards the café, I further held on that thought. Looking back though, there was a lingering thought inside me thinking that hierarchy is not an ever present reality, its a choice. Sometimes it is us who impose it on ourselves. 

There was also something in my mind that I learned from long ago, that diversity is a strength rather than a weakness. That all individuals are endowed by God with potentials. That not one of us are the same. That all of us are created different. And that difference is designed to complement than to spark conflict with one another. That no one is too big or too small because of his race, religion, culture and language. What defines us is the amount of determination we have, the way we treat other people, and the passsion we have in whatever we do.

WorldMUN is a wonderful opportunity for many of us to overcome that fear of being different. WorldMUN is where people are given the chance to understand the beauty that lies in the diversity of people around the world. WorldMUN is where young people can channel their desires of making a difference in the world and put them into action.

I got my wallet back and walked toward Kintex. I haven’t fully grasped the reasons to overcome my fears, but I got part of the answer that would guide me in the next four days of the conference.


Part 2 to follow.

It’s my 20th birthday!

Photo on 7-1-14 at 10.20 PM #2

What a year it has been! My 19th year in this world was definitely worth to be remembered. I had an even more supportive family, had overseas trips in October, had a fantastic first taste of job during internship at PMS, and finally got into fifth year for Masters!

The past year wasn’t really all perfect though! I had lots of misadventures and got a good deal of stress in school. 4th year is like the most stressful year, especially for Political Economy students. We had to read through many books and journals, do research papers and essays I can’t even count, and write two thesis proposals for Research Methods (Quantitative and Qualitative). I have finished most with flying colours except for some that needed to be finished up to my internship in the summer due to lack of data, revision of mind-blowing-theoretical-framework and the like. I suffered from a lot of things that I should not have to if not for my procrastination. I could have enjoyed my summer better! : (

I used ‘better’ to describe my summer experience because it wasn’t bad. Not at all. I spent most of my time working at the Presidential Management Staff in Malacanang. Boy, it was my first taste of real work and PMS did not disappoint. I had to write briefing notes for the President or for the PMS secretary like any employee does. I and some interns got a minuscule role in planning for this year’s SONA. And we’ve had a sing and dance presentation! Even more fantastic was the fact that I have met new friends.

So at the end of it all, I’m glad that I enjoyed what I enjoyed, and went through what I went through. I have came out stronger and more mature, I am certain about that.

And if there was one Person who saw me through everything it was God. He was there in my successes and failures. Im also thankful to my parents and my siblings for always being there and giving all the imaginable support I could have. My friends and the people whom I met this year allowed me learn a lot, and experience a lot.

For my 20th year, I would like to experience more in life. I can’t wait to spend more time with my family, have more adventures and misadventures with my brothers, and share more fun moments with friends.

I am also very excited to see where my thesis would take me. It’s on Disaster Risk Management by the way. Something really relevant for this country, but not without its complexities. I just had a consultation with my thesis adviser the other day, and boy, there are just a lot of things to do. But challenge accepted because I don’t want to be delayed. I’ll work hard to get my thesis done in a year!

But it is not just the thesis of course, I look forward to meeting new friends and seeing new places. And in God’s will I’ll graduate next year, just before my 21st birthday. Afterwards, I hope to find a good job and see what I can do for this country and for my family!


P.S. Pardon for the cranky writing, I am in a hurry! Haha

Hey it’s my birthday!


So it’s my 19th birthday. Yahoo! I couldn’t believe that times have gone so fast! It seems to me that my childhood days were only just yesterday. But it’s not. I came past adolescence, have graduated from high school and now on my way to finish my MA, hopefully, in two years time. And it was the things that happened all throughout those years that kept me busy to reflect on life. What have I achieved? What did I miss? Where did I fail? And have I learned from my mistakes?

These questions are just plain boring and corny, even sentimental, during other days of the year. But it is during my birthday that those questions gain significance.It is because one’s birthday is supposed to be a moment of reflection.

For me, I have a lot to celebrate. I have loving parents, wonderful siblings, a bunch of equally wonderful uncles and aunts, funny and helpful cousins, ‘fantastic’ high school friends, my ‘awesome’ poleco blockmates, my UAP CAS mates and even strangers like my landlords and landladies who have shown goodness to me throughout the years. I thank God for good health and equally good education. Also for direction and never failing love. Whew, please permit me to be a ‘corn’ in capital letters since its my birthday! And its my blog!

But as much as I want to be thankful for all my blessings from God, I also want to focus on things that I have to improve. Of course I’m human and not perfect like everyone else. And there is something about imperfection that is interesting to think about, especially during birthdays. I remember Martha Stewart’s words on gardening. She said that it is the garden’s imperfection that allows the gardener to move and cultivate. It is because there are things to be worked on that movement and action are stimulated. The same with our character. It is because we are imperfect that makes us move and do good to change whatever there is in our thinking and actions to correct.

As for myself, there are five that I can think of. First is to control my temper. That kills me a lot especially when times are bad. I, most often than not, blow my top during tense situations. I also love to argue for the sake of arguing! (Isn’t that funny….and stupid?) I wish I have more patience and less enthusiasm for argument. But I hope I can work on that in God’s grace.

Second is honesty and integrity. I must admit that I’m a kind of know-it-all person, and that attitude is a flash point between me and many people, most particularly THOSE who have that same trait as mine! I also tend to paint an image of myself as being perfect and clean without acknowledging the fact that I TOO have mistakes to deal with before poking on others’ noses.

Third is laziness. I remember in Dante’s novel, Inferno and Purgatorio, that SLOTH can be the root of many evils. That includes tardiness and lack of respect or genuine concern for others’ time. And you don’t accomplish anything in your life with that which is more bad. And that is ringing a bell on me because I have several papers to write but I’m BLOGGING. Never mind!

Fourth is over-thinking. I am always pulling the HAMLET out of me when papers come or during exams. I always aim for the best, and because of that I could not even accomplish a single good.

Fifth is prodigality. I tend to spend money like there’s no tomorrow (this is a Filipino saying which I just translated because I think it also makes sense in English). That is why I should pull out the economics part of my Political Economy education to make me the ‘economic man’ I should be. I am not a SELF-MAXIMIZING individual (but thankfully because of that I am not one of those ungodly rationalist scumbags). So I guess I could now write in my paper for PET that Hume and the positivists are wrong to assume that all men are rational, as they defined it! I for one is not–again, thankfully I am not! Haha.

But let’s see if I can improve, in God’s grace, at least three of these come my 20th birthday.

Enough of this. I have to end blogging because I have school works to do. Better to write papers now than to cram (AGAIN?). I must say that I am thankful to those who sent their messages on Facebook and twitter, and those who found time to call and, even, greet me personally. That really made my day.

I am looking forward for my 20th and, even, 80th birthday (that’s how ADVANCED I am) in God’s grace.

Dorm Life: doing groceries


I’ve been living in a ‘dorm’ (which I would generally refer to either an apartment, boarding house or condo) for almost four years now. And I can say that it can be quite difficult to be separated from my parents. I have to do all things. From cleaning the room to cooking as well as getting up early for school without my mom or dad waking me up. From first to the early part of second year, I had to do the laundry. I didn’t feel like doing it. I don’t know, but doing laundry is the least of the house chores I would do.

But I really like doing groceries. Going to the supermarket and picking vegetables or meat or cereals is just fun. I especially love bargains. There are times that beef would have discounts or fruits during their seasons would get so cheap. There was a time when oranges went on sale. For 50 pesos you could buy around 6 or 8 pieces. I bought a lot and it seemed like I’ve eaten oranges for a week!

The vegetable section is also fantastic. When I feel like eating Sinigang, I would buy sliced long beans, eggplants, kangkong and okra. And, oh, the white onions are just perfect for sinigang. It brings veggie sweetness to the sour taste of the sinigang, making the dish very delicate and, I’m telling you, very yummy!

I also like the part of the vegetable section where there are root-crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes, purple yam, etc. As I’m into nilagang baka, I really want to make sure that the potatoes have to be of good quality, because if not, it would ruin the taste of the nilaga.

One thing that I enjoyed also about supermarkets is that they’re clean and air-conditioned. That makes doing groceries a little bit easier. But I like wet markets as well. You can find more bargains in the wet market than in supermarkets. Apart from being cheaper, vegetables and meat products tend to be fresher, at least that’s my experience in Mandaluyong where my first dorm was located.

But being fond of doing groceries does not necessarily mean that I’m efficient in doing it. Earlier on, I would buy a lot of unnecessary things. The worst was that I had to throw away a lot of food; bread, meat, vegetables, you name it.

I would also tend to buy lots of junk foods like sodas, chocolates, chips and instant noodles. That’s why I tend to lose a lot of weight even though I keep on eating. That’s quite strange I thought because those foods were supposed to make one fat. I don’t know, maybe my metabolism just happens to be really fast.

But as I get more used to it, I get a lot smarter in doing groceries. Now I have to have a list of what to buy so that I won’t pick unnecessary things. If I like something that I’ve never tried before, I would buy just one piece not the whole pack if it happens to be sold per piece. If not, I would not even buy it.

In that way, I became a lot efficient. I save a lot of time since I don’t have to go to and fro the supermarket in confusion. I also save a lot of money since my spending has actually decreased quite dramatically. Before, I would usually spend 700 pesos a week. And you see that would eat a lot of my allowance since what I bought was usually just for dinner during weekends and, of course, for snacks. Now I only spend around 200-500 pesos a week. And not every week I go to the supermarket. That saves a lot of money and time. So I can now have more time to study and do things that I have to do.

With that I see that planning is really important. It allows us to maximize our time, money as well as our effort. And that redounds to anything that we do. Either doing a research or house chores, planning has to be there if we want to see good results.

What will I become in the Future?


I have this tendency of going online just to google anything that interests me at the moment. This evening after doing school work, I chanced to think of searching a random professor’s bio. From reading the bio, I happened to open the website of the research center of UA&P. And for some reason my random internet searching took me to the alumni site of the university.

The particular article that I got into was the 2011 Bar exam passers who were alumni of the university. To my surprise many were not from my course, Political Economy, or Industrial Economics. As you can see, many of them either took Information Technology or Management before studying law.

It seems to me that those people from courses I would not expect to study law were the ones who actually did. You see, I’m coming from a pre-conception, like most people in the Philippines, that pre-law courses should have to do something with politics or economics. That explains my reaction to the article that I read in the alumni website.

But when I think of it, life is really that surprising. I don’t know if the guys or girls from other courses today who seem to lack much interest in current events or anything political under the sun would someday be in the field of law or politics.

That I think proves that we can’t speculate what people will be in the future based on what they are now. They might not like this or that today, but maybe in the future they would change their mind and do something else where they can find more interest and fulfillment.

And that should not create confusion or anxiety for the future in any way. As so long as we stand firm in our belief in the truth and we do good in whatever way we can, we can be assured that no matter where we go, we will be contended and happy.

With that thought, I also reflect on myself. What will I become in the future? Will I be the person I want to be?

We’ll that’s the question that I am yet to answer myself, and for each and every one of us if we ask the same question.

But I am not implying that we are not in control of the future. We are in certain ways. It is just that sometimes things happen a bit differently or there are better options that came about so we changed our mind, so as our plans. But if we are really determined to pursue our dreams or goals in life, our idea of the future must meet with our actions. That is, we should work hard to be the kind of person we want to be.

Of course, God has to be there in our life. For without the light of God, we are like walking in the darkest night without even the spark of light to guide us in an uncertain path ahead of us.

And now back to the question, what will I be in the future and what will be my brothers, friends and classmates be in the future? These questions are yet to be answered and I am looking forward in knowing those answers.