Being Sober

Around two weeks ago, I decided that I should quit smoking. Many have their own reasons; mine was for healthier living. I noticed I was getting shorter breaths during my runs. I used to run 4km without a sweat (metaphorically) and still had enough energy to run 2km more. However, it was getting so bad that I was struggling to complete 3km, and that’s when I decided to quit smoking.

I’ve tried quitting it in the past, but I did it without thinking and went back to smoking as a consequence of that. This time around, I’ve had some help from an app, so hopefully, I can see this through the end.

I started smoking because of family issues. It affected me so much that I thought that smoking was a way to help deal with the stress. It obviously made my life a bit worse with weaker lungs. So here’s me trying to improve myself.

It’s been three days since I’ve quit smoking. Wish me luck!

In other news, I finished my TEFL certification course! I’m totally excited to get my certificate and add this to my resume. Why? A TEFL certificate and some years of teaching experience should give me a better chance at finding a teaching job overseas.

Here’s to me trying to make it in life 🍻 🍻 🍻

(PS I don’t drink. I just thought that the beers looked festive lol)

Earning Your Place

I just came from this talk at THE Ateneo on the political landscape of Filipino journalism. It was a good talk and extremely informative. I was supposed to meet my two Atenean friends and watch it together, but I had chores to do in the morning. I was around 20 minutes late, but I caught the majority it.

Let me digress a bit. Followers of my blog know that I really love Ateneo even though I’m from La Salle. I love both universities. I just love Ateneo more. I love the chill culture, its environment, the people, and of course the location. So coming in to Ateneo today for a talk was exciting for me. Why? I get to feel what it’s like being an Atenean even if it was just a little bit.

I gave up my La Salle ID for a visitor’s pass and walked right in heading to Escaler Hall.

Sitting in an auditorium filled with Ateneans was exhilarating. It sounds weird, but I felt at home for once even more so when Ressa addressed the entire room as Ateneans. These small things like being perceived as a part of a whole is what makes me feel good. To be a part of something you always wanted to be a part of is great!

I met up with my friends and their friends. We chatted and walked to the parking lot where we had to part ways since they had other things to do. Then that’s when it sunk in. I’m not a part of this community. I’m not an Atenean. All I am is an outsider with a visitor’s pass. Although I do love Ateneo, it doesn’t love me back since I’m not one of them.

As I walked back to the gate, a familiar feeling came over me. I always tell my friends that I don’t feel like I’m a Filipino because I just don’t have the same values and ideas that Filipinos have. And I think this experience in Ateneo is a good analogy of that feeling. Have you ever visited another school for a fair? Did you feel like you weren’t a part of that school even though you had all the benefits of the fair? When La Salle has its UnivWeek celebration, students from other universities come and visit. They love La Salle and its culture, but they stick out because they aren’t a part of it.

That’s how I feel about this country. I feel like I’m in another school, but the problem is that I don’t have a school to go back to. I have to find another school to call home.

The only way I can find a place in Ateneo is to earn it (through passing the ACET). But earning your place in a university is easier than earning your place in a country, a country that I don’t even know exists for me.

For now, I’m just a visitor looking for that place I can call home.

Unconscious Sign of Weakness

Two days ago, I had a sweet dream. This was also my second dream where I realised it was a dream and decided to let it play on. I wasn’t in control of my actions, like what some people claim to do. I was just aware that it wasn’t real.

In my dream, I bought a lottery scratch ticket. For some reason, I knew I was going to win. I didn’t know how much. I just knew it. So I scratched off the coating and matched my numbers with the winning numbers (I know lottery scratch tickets don’t work this way, but it’s a dream). Lo and behold, I won $80 million. I felt extremely happy as one normally would. My problems instantly disappeared.

Then I woke up.

I felt excruciatingly annoyed not because it was a dream but because I felt happy. Now you must be thinking, “You’re annoyed because you’re happy? You must be insane.” Yeah, you might be right.

I didn’t like the dream because my mind unconsciously wanted an easy way out. It wanted something to stop the pain with minimal effort. How can I grow as a person if I do not face trials?

My mind failed me. I felt disgusted at myself. I always thought that I knew myself. I was wrong. Apparently, I want an easy way out.


I will erase this weakness from inside me and beat it out with hard work and effort.

I cannot believe such weakness festers within me.

Failure and Persistence

Just like what the title says, I failed to get the interview and demo stage for the JET Programme.

What happens next? Well, I’m never going to give up on living and working in Japan. The JET Programme is the most prestigious English teaching positions in Japan, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only avenue for English.

I’ve been creating a bank of other Japanese institutions. Eikaiwa or ALT, I’ll take it (of course, the salary has to be reasonable). Continue reading “Failure and Persistence”