Use and Purpose

Before I start writing anything, I want to say that DLSU is an amazing institution for scholarly training and academics. I’m a scholar, and I truly appreciate the time I have spent there. I’ve learnt so much in such a short amount of time. I’ve met brilliant people with mind-shattering ideas. La Salle is and will always be a home for me.

So, what’s with the disclaimer? I think I’ve made a mistake enrolling in a master’s program under La Salle. Let’s start at the beginning.

My initial interview for the graduate program started with the question “Why did you choose La Salle among other universities?”

I answered, “La Salle has a double degree program with Japan, and the others don’t. Academics in UP and Ateneo are amazing, but I’m after the double degree program.”

For a year and 8-ish months, my mind was set on earning that second MA in Japan. But now it seems like that program has disappeared.

I have stated my interest in it with the proper entities and individuals within the university. I have correspondence with them. I have even been told to check for announcements. But now it seems to have disappeared.

La Salle’s purpose to me was to provide an avenue for me to get to Japan, to give me a way to live there for long term, to show me a route and destination for my future. That purpose, in my personal opinion, has gone.

To put it bluntly, La Salle has no purpose for me. I was there for a double degree program, but I haven’t heard from them. When I look back to 2015, I feel like I should gone to ADMU instead.

I’ve always had a bias towards Ateneo. It’s not an academic bias but more of a cultural bias. Plus I live 10 minutes away from Ateneo.

Anyway. So what’s next for good ol’ me? I still plan to go to Japan, but this time for work. I’ll be teaching English and hopefully get a position. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll be transferring to Ateneo by the start of intercession.

My Old School

I’m not sure how many of you here are new readers, but let’s just say you all are new. A bit of personal backstory again (lol since this is a blog and I’ve probably written this a dozen times), I am a full-blood* Filipino and a Filipino in citizenship. If you’re not from the Philippines you’d think it’d be strange if someone tells you that having those two traits is a curse. Well, it kinda is. I say kinda only because there are Filipinos that are proud to be Filipinos or Pinoy as they call themselves. I am not that, in fact, I don’t know what I am.

I do love my country, but I hate the people that run it. I do love my friends (who are incidentally mostly half-bloods) but I hate a lot of the locals. I consider most of the local popular culture jologs (dirty, cheap, corny) so I stay away from it.

My professors would tell me that I’m a total prick for labeling things that are an essential part of the Pinoy identity. But I’m not Pinoy. I don’t keep smiling when hardships come. I don’t commit to Bahala na si Batman (which is kinda the equivalent of que sera sera). I don’t find Piolo Pascual and Marian Rivera attractive. I don’t use colloquial slang because it feels like I gargled mouthwash that’s made of acid.

Now you’re wondering, “Where the hell is he going with this? I thought this was about his old school!” We’re getting to that part. Be patient, young grasshopper. Below is a new video that ACS Cobham uploaded to YouTube showing the campus.

That’s my old school. The White House was where I first got my taste of real quality education. It housed us Kindergarten kids until we got to 1st grade in the brown buildings you saw in the video.

The White House now known as Heywood House

Now why the strong negative emotions towards Filipino culture and whatnot? Culture shock. At ACS, we were taught at a very early age that being different was normal. We had different skin colours, accents, languages, religions, and even food. The kids who were left out were the normal white kids. Talk about irony.

We knew we were all different, but we were kids so we didn’t give a shit. We’d sing songs, hold hands, throw toys, build toys, run around etc. because having fun was more interesting than looking at each other’s differences. I had so much fun learning while just being myself. Being different. I loved it. Then my father made a stupid life choice.

The culture shock I got from Filipinos when we returned was immense. I hated every local to their core until I reached uni. I brought my idea of being different was normal and severely paid the price. The normal I saw was conformity. Everyone acted the same, looked the same, thought the same, believed in the same religion, ate the same food, and I was the precious little blue flower in the garden of weeds.

I studied first at OB Montessori. I thought I was in a zoo. I literally thought I was because I’ve never seen that tone of skin colour. I’ve had African classmates and teachers back in ACS, but I never saw a dark-skinned Austronesian. In fact, I never saw a dark-skinned Asian. Which is why I thought that I was Chinese and that the Philippines was a province of China (but that’s for another blog post.)

Now the racist thought of being in a zoo was spawned from mistreatment not only from my classmates but also from my teachers and the staff. They hated that I was so outgoing, so disconnected from the system, a loose cannon in their highly militarised institution of good students. I transferred schools until I ended up in a homeschooling program.**

HSP was where I finally felt I was among people who understood what it meant to be different from the flock, to be a wolf in field complying sheep. Unfortunately, wolves are threats to sheep so we huddle as a pack to protect each other. Then uni snapped me out of it. I’m not a wolf. I’m a human being.

ACS wasn’t just an international school whose facilities were amazing. It creates beautiful human beings, sometimes too beautiful that people get scared. I don’t know what I am but somewhere along the way maybe the beautiful child from my past can show me. Maybe.

*There’s no such thing as a pure-blood Filipino. What I meant by full-blood was the typical Chinese-Spanish-Filipino blood.
**It was called HSP but we still reported to a school to take tests.

The Effects of Being Rejected for Employment

I’ll keep this short since I don’t have much drive in me. For about three months, I’ve been sending CVs, going to interviews, and taking tests. I told myself that feeling disappointed after getting a rejection letter was normal but as more rejection letters kept pouring in, a cesspool of depression began to build inside of me. It wasn’t the companies’ fault that they rejected me, and it isn’t even my fault that I was rejected. “I just wasn’t good enough.” That thought found itself in the crevices of my brain wrinkles, and it was pure poison.

This poison couldn’t be stopped. It was the truth. Doing my best wasn’t good enough, and there are an infinite (well not really) amount of people who are infinitely better than me.

I went to a job interview a week ago with high hopes of getting accepted. I got there early, an hour early. There was a 7 eleven nearby so I decided to grab myself a cup of hot water with soil and milk. Sitting there and staring out the windows with dozens of people whizzing by made me feel alone. Everyone needed to be somewhere because their work told them to do so. I was a stationary rock with an affinity for hot water with soil and milk. I threw the joe away and made my way to the office. All my confidence had mysteriously disappeared.

I saw an acquaintance from uni at the office, and my stomach began to churn. Needless to say, I got rejected. The interviewer told me upfront that I was just going to be frustrated in this workspace. I will never forget her words, “You’re so young. You’re like 24? 23? And yet you look so weathered out.” Lady, you don’t know the half of it.

At the elevator on the way out, my friend asked, “What are you going to do now?”

I drew a blank. I didn’t know what to do next. “I guess I’ll just go home then.” I said.

I was so depressed that I didn’t even hug my friend good-bye. I just waved and walked away. Each step I took to the bus station was a pang to the chest. My teeth began to grit, and my hands turned into fists. The poison had hit me hard. On the way to the train station in the bus, I broke down. I just started crying. I covered my face with my bag but everyone could hear me. The only thing I could think of was, “Why wasn’t I good enough? Why am I not good enough? WHY WHY WHY? FUCK!!”

For 20 minutes, I cried in that bus. For 20 minutes, I tried to hide my red eyes in the train. For 20 minutes, I cried at home.

Blue Sky and White Clouds Mused Me

This is my last term DLSU. Yes, I am opening this blog entry with the idea of leaving. For the past months, that seems to be theme I’ve been living in. Goodbye academic world and hello working world! Please take it easy on this unemployed fresh grad with zero professional work experience. Wouldn’t that be Utopian?

Thesis and internship invaded so much of my personal life that I haven’t been able to finish three books since the start of the year. My mother’s finished four books in a month! I drowned in a sea of envy during my “thesis writing sessions” when I saw her reading on the couch whilst drinking tea. Since thesis is done, I get to read my book during breaks at the office.

Interning is giving me some rather interesting things to think about. A few days after I started, I rode a jeepney to said company, and the driver was this really jolly guy. He had friends everywhere along the route he drove. His smile revealed rotting teeth but he wasn’t afraid to show his happiness he created along that route of his. It hit me that this guy, someone who’s probably never gone through college, high school or even elementary, is happier than I am. I pretty much have everything I could ever need–opportunities for a better future. Yet this guy has found the happiness that I’ve been trying so hard to find. Sure enough, he’d be happy if he had a better paying job. But I think he’d miss the people.

Anyway, I have 3 weeks, 3 day, and 5 hours left in my internship. I hope something interesting happens.

The Corporate World is No Place for Social Sciences

A few months ago, I was losing my marbles when I had a week left to find a place to intern. I pulled out all the stops and used every resource I had. Then lo and behold, a friend of mine asked if I could intern at said company, and I didn’t need to go through an interview! “Can you start tomorrow?” She asked. I was extremely elated! It was as if a miracle had come and present itself on a silver platter. I didn’t care if my training in IR was useless in said company. I was in it for the “office experience” and the hours. Oh, naïve child, if you knew what I know now…

Being trained in IR makes me, at the very least, inquisitive in global affairs. No one here dares to argue about sex, politics, economics, history, philosophy, morality, ethics, and religion. The one person that does is leaving the company tomorrow! My brain is dead in said company and most people here talk about TV shows, celebrities or tragedies. I know an interesting TV show called House of Cards, but these people talk about Rhodora X (I know, don’t ask). Politics and business DO NOT match. They’re oil and water, I’d say.

If I had waited a little longer, I would be interning in ECCP.