Friday, January 27, 2012

This rare and humbling opportunity

Yes I confess, I am a stalker in my own ways. But! Allow me to clarify things first, my stalker mode only operates in the cyberworld. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are my ultimate crime buddies. And the people I stalk are limited to those who interests me. A crush (tee hee) and people I admire because of their humbled achievements.. they are my usual victims :D

And why I am suddenly talking about stalking? Allow me first to relate my recent experience.

I was browsing over my Twitter account last night after a long day at work. I have two Twitter accounts by the way. (No, I am not a Twitter addict, let me explain) I maintain a private and a public account. My private account are exclusive to my really close friends, those people who saw my cry cry crayola moments and have enough tolerance level to experience my immature rants. I opened a public account to accommodate my acquaiantances, colleagues and students. Instead of giving my mobile phone number, Twitter served as the next best communication tool.

Twitter randomly provides suggested people to follow. These people are usually found within your network, either you follow a common person or a number of your contacts follow them. Though I usually ignore this feature, I noticed familiar faces in my suggested list. Most of them were my students and this started the story.

Everything happened because of curiosity, I swear! I clicked the familiar faces I was surprised with the tweets or I should say rants and curses that I know were intended for me.

I was surprised but honestly, I never felt bad at all. I was on the contrary entertained by some of the words they used to describe the burden of taking my subject. I by the way handle Business Plan Writing subjects. In the entire stretch of the semester, my students write their Business Plan. Before the school year ends, they have to defend their paper to a three-man panel. I will not deny the fact that my subject demands a lot from my students. Business Plan Writing drains kids to the highest level. As their teacher, I really try my best to support them. I also spent sleepless nights reading and revising their papers. I monitor 13 groups which also gives me 13 papers to read and review everyday. When I review papers, I don't just write "revise" "change" "delete" and all those commanding words. I write, suggest and provide specific advices as to how they can improve their paper.

To be honest, I always have the option to become the lousy and lazy professor. I can easily say "I don't like the presentation of your market survey analysis. Change it!" I would rather say "You can still improve your Marketing Analysis. Generate and add the following tables. Expound your analyses by relating the responses to the market situation. You can start the discussion with..."

Having 13 papers to read is equally exhausting on my part. I also have to sacrifice sleep even during weekends. There were even instances when I have to forget my weekend life. I refuse to go out with my few and counted people who keeps me happy and holds the last strand of my sanity. As much as I wanted to look good and feel refreshed everyday, I can't. The lesser sleeping hours give me that lifeless and haggard look. This also explains why for the longest time, I am tagged as a boring, single and a great old maid in the making.

I know some of you will tell me that I am paid so I have no right to complain or explain. I acknowledge that fact. Your parents work hard to pay for your tuition fees, so you all deserve to receive the best education. If only some of you can take a peek to my malnourished pay slip, it might rattle off your senses. However, I believe that this profession does not work with money. Though we need to money to support our families, I can personally attest that the best teachers in the world are not formed and motivated by money. The greatest teachers are those who teach because of their love for the profession.

I always wanted to tell my students how I landed in teaching. When I graduated from college, all I wanted was to teach. Unfortunately, teaching gave me first taste of job rejection. I forgot teaching and moved on to another career. However, after I finished my MBA, the opportunity to teach came in. I wanted to teach not because of money. I wanted to teach because it was one of my dreams that was waiting to be fulfilled. 

I am not mad though. I wasn't really hurt by all those harsh words. I'm getting used to it. I also don't take things personally. So no worries about your grades :) I have learned to differentiate personal and work life issues.

My only wish is, for this semester will end soon (hehehe), everyone will pass the defense. Everyone will feel proud and accomplished on our last day. And when you look back at your college life 5 to 10 years from now, you will consider Business Plan Writing as one of your humbled achievements.

I would accept the pain of being tagged as a sore, loser and old maid in the making, if it means being given this rare, humbling and noble opportunity to become an instrument of building happy, accomplished and successful people.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Redemption and Rejection

After the long weekend break, I was very eager to start the week. I felt refreshed, optimistic and ready to accomplish everything. I started my office routine after my early morning class. I listed the tasks that needs to be done and checked my email. And that's it! In a snap, my entire day was ruined by a letter of rejection.

My positive outlook is gone.

Having my desktop computer and internet connection, I tried to divert my attention to other meaningful thoughts. Someone out there perhaps led me to this inspiring video clip

F is for FAIL from Brent Barson on Vimeo.

I hope the disheartening email only serves as a sign that I should consider another try, another hope to build another redeeming chapter of my life

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another food trip for the Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choi...... in case I have Chinese blog readers. :)

Today, the Chinese community is celebrating their own New Year. I don't have an inch of Chinese blood in my lineage. However, I grew up being exposed with their culture and traditions. For those who are not familiar with the history of my country, a significant number of our populace is comprised of the Chinese. During the ancient times, some Chinese migrated and ventured to different businesses in the Philippines. These Chinese men later found their stable livelihood and started to build their respective families here.

The dominance of the Chinese community later led to the establishment of the Manila Chinatown in Binondo.

It is believed that Manila's Chinatown is the oldest in the world. Situated in Binondo, this was established in 1594, when the Philippines was still colonized by the Spanish government.

Aside from discovering history and the culture of the Chinese, Binondo is famous because of the best Chinese restaurants in town. One of the restaurants I regularly visit with my friends is Estero. I already blogged about Estero in this post.

For those who regularly read my blog, you are more or less aware of our mini Chinese New Year tradition. Together with my few workplace friends, we visit Estero before the actual date of the Chinese new year.

Before we reach  Estero, allow me to share some pictures on the way to the place

The surroundings may not be too pleasing because Binondo is characterized by its narrow and busy streets. Since Binondo is a business district, expect the regular crowd of people that doubles during the Chinese New Year.

Stores selling different charms are always present in any street.

Here's how Estero looks like from the outside

It doesn't look so pleasing but they provide clean and airconditioned dining areas

Ambiance is definitely not a find in Estero. They compensate though for the best, clean and cheapest food in Binondo
Here's what we pigged out :)

From left clockwise, Calamares (Breaded Fried Squid), Shanghai Fried Rice, Breaded Beef in Oyster Sauce, and Buttered Chicken, all for less than Php 600!

I hope my blog friends abroad enjoyed this post. Most of you told me that you enjoyed reading something about my country. So here it is!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little but great surprises

The bulk of workload I had last week was crazy. Most of them arise from my teaching tasks. The papers to read are drowning me to the fullest. Just when I needed to stay in the office to review papers, my boss sent me to a 2-day seminar. This means I will be away from my computer, papers and other workload. Though I can always bring the paper works at home, this is something I vowed to avoid. I wanted to clearly separate work from home. I don't want to turn our home as an office extension. Home should be a place to rest, rejuvenate and spent quality time with the family. But that seems to be true only in words... How about my working blog friends, are you forced to bring work in your respective homes?

Despite the wrong timing of the two-day seminar, attending one is something I look forward. I learn new things and meet people from different industries. My expectations were high and I was hoping for an exceptional experience, given the fact that the registration fee is quite expensive. Unfortunately, everything turned out to be a regretful experience. Poor logistics and I found some speakers not knowledgeable enough to discuss the topics assigned to them. The organizers were not good in time management so there were idle time during the session. To kill time, I was forced to buy this book

Just when I promised myself to become more prudent this year......

Despite the unpleasant experience, some few good things happened on that two long days of sacrifice. I met my friend Anne and we had dinner in an Italian restaurant. The place was relaxing because I was treated with this scenery

Not really the most fantastic garden in the world, but pieces of greenery in the middle of a busy workplace is enough to relax my always worried and weary soul.

On the second day of the seminar, I decided to meet up my former students. We had lunch together

 We look like we are of the same age, right? ;-) Though our meet up lasted less than an hour, I was so happy to see my former proteges. They all bloomed and turned out to become successful professionals. They are living proofs that I have done something good in my years of existence.

They are life's little but great surprises for me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reel Places to See

Watching movies has always been one of my favorite past time activities. When I turned 18, my father gave me my own VCD player and that further intensified my movie addiction. During vacation, I would cocoon in my room for a day and watch like 5 consecutive movies. On those days, only three hindrances can hamper my movie marathon, when I need to eat, take a bath and pee. Other than that, no disturbances could ever hinder my addiction.

Aside from a quality story, handsome leading man, :-)  I always look forward in the setting or location of each film. Since venturing in traveling is expensive and never a priority in my family, films were always instrumental in bringing me to the greatest places I never imagined to have existed. And I'm not talking about places that made it to the seven wonders of the world. Some of most of them are just plain restaurants, stores and streets that appealed to me in one way or another. Allow me to share some of them in this post

1. Juliet's Wall in Verona

Found in Italy, this was a significant place in the movie, Letters to Juliet. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) discovered a place where anyone can post love letters on the wall of what was believed as Juliet's house. Sophie later found a group of ladies who answers all the letters and that led to the development of the story. 

2. Shakespeare Bookstore - Notting Hill

Sadly, my dream to reach this place is already impossible. I read from this article that this famous London travel bookstore was already closed.

3. Central Park in Manhattan provided the best locations in most of my favorite romantic films

Central Park West - The Devil Wears Prada

Central Park : The Mall - Serendipity

Central Park Bow Bridge  - The Mirror Has Two Faces

The Loab Boathouse - 27 Dresses

4. New York Public Library - Sex and the City (the movie)

Photo Source here

5. Staglin Family Vineyard in Rutherford California - The Parent Trap

Back when Lindsay Lohan was young, sweet, innocent :D

Photo Source here

6. Oak Hill - Sweet Home Alabama

They used the place's lawn for the wedding

7. Serendipity III - Serendipity

8. Santorini - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

9. Chatsworth House - The Duchess

How about you? I would love to hear your all time favorite "reel places."

P.S. All pictures used in this post are not owned by the author. Sources are linked to each picture

Monday, January 16, 2012

Feel before you speak

I suddenly felt the need to post this. When I logged in my Facebook account this morning, I encountered some stark words on my news feed. Although those messages were never intended for me, I felt bad both for the person who posted and the person referred by those harsh words...

More than thinking before speaking, I guess it's more important to feel before we speak..

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How's life Diane?

When I checked my blog this morning, I realized that I only made 3 posts and the month will end in two weeks. Phew!

The paperworks in teaching and my pending freelance works are piling up so I always end up working the entire day.  I teach in the morning, work in the office the entire day, teach in the evening and extend some works at home to beat all the big Ds...deadlinesssss.

See those blue marks on the paper? Yes, that's how I murder a submitted paper. I know my students are hating and cursing me to the fullest now...but sorry kids.. quality comes first for me.

I've been reading and editing research papers for the past two weeks. So at the end of the day, this is how I usually look
Total Knock Out!
In the middle of the busy work week, I can't help but wish that I have this at home

Okay Diane, wake up and get back to work!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I will travel and write

My blog life would never be happier and exciting without the presence of my blog friends, readers and followers. I value each of them so I am willing to exert all means to write topics that would interest them. I took advantage of my second giveaway as an opportunity to discover the posts that interest my readers. Of the 24 comments I received, I learned that most of my readers enjoy posts about my country. A greater percentage of them are living in the other side of the world, most of them are actually Americans. This could possibly explain why my local travel posts are well appreciated.  

So in response to the request of my readers, I promise to regularly write about the beautiful places in my country. One new place to visit, a travel post, I hope this would be enough to make my readers happy. 

For 2012, these are the places in the Philippines I would love to visit and share with my blog friends

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Bantayan Island
 Marinduque's Bellarocca
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Banaue's Rice Terraces

 One step at a time, I am all set to travel!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bring it on 2012

Happy New Year!!!!!!

Today is the last day of my two-week break and I am savoring the last hours of this once a year vacay. Tomorrow, I will be back at work with tons of papers to check, review and outputs to follow up. In short, I am back to reality.

My two-week vacay was all about shopping, malling, eating, movies and time with my family. I wish life will be forever like this. :-)  No deadlines to beat and everything is so laid back. I also found some time recalling all the blessings that God has given me for the year. I was able to visit new places such as Puerto Galera and Taiwan. 2011 was a year of many memorable firsts for me. I made my first international research presentation and my blog finally gained a few but well treasured followers and readers. Blogging has been more exciting, inspiring and fulfilling with the presence of my frequent visitors turned friends such as Duni, Janelle, Kelley, Cheryl, Jen , Ricki and Diane. To those I have failed to mention, I apologize but each comment and visit you made in my blog is more than enough to brighten up my day.

For 2012, here are my wishes for my family, work, and blog life

1. To earn my first international publication
2. An opportunity to conduct another study with industry linkage - hopefully this can be another material for another international presentation 
3. To finish the Manual of Operations at work
4. More freelance works to fatten my savings account and give me some shopping money :-)
5. Continuous teaching job...for my students to pass their defense and no casualties (failing grades) in my other class
7. To gain more readers, followers turned friends in the blogosphere
8. Explore other earning opportunities in blogging
9. Fatten my savings account and earn other investments
10. and the one great wish..... :D

I know this year will never be an easy one. Challenges will surely emerge along the way. But whatever it is, I am ready! Bring it on 2012!

And the winner is........

Before I announce the winner of my giveaway, allow me first to thank and link up all the bloggers who willingly participated 

3. Duni of Duni Studio
4. Ginger of Ginger Snap Crafts
5. Comeca of Shans Wife Meme
6. Shelia of Note Songs
10. Bdubs of Book Worms Review
12. Diane of Lavender Dreamer
15. Anya of Anya Adores
17. Elaine of Sunny Simple Life
18. Steve E of The Fourth Dimension
19. Jen of Sadie Inspired 
21. Janelle of Of Pinks and Fairy Tales

I assigned a number to each blogger based on the their joining date. Of the 21 participants, the winner is candidate number....

 Congratulations to Betsy of My Salvaged Treasures!