Early Morning Madness

Dear Kuya na Katabi Ko sa Shuttle,

Sana maging familiar tayo sa concept of seat sharing. 

Times like this make me wish that I were like Jane (Twilight reference – desperation has gotten me to this point). Then I could simply look at you, whisper, “Pain”, and watch you writhe in agony. 

At ngayon lang kita nakita in the 4 years I’ve been taking the shuttle every morning. Ano ka, giant mushroom?



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StoryWeaver Stories: I Teach Life

Someone recently asked if I ever get tired and frustrated when I engage with a company for years only to teach the same thing over and over again. 

Truth? Yes, I get tired. But it’s the physical kind, brought about by all the walking around, making sure everyone’s on the same page. It’s because I don’t sit on my ass at the back of the room, leaving them alone and making that incredibly dangerous assumption that they’re doing it right only to shoot them down in the end. 

It’s also the mental kind of tired, from learning their past, understanding their present and trying to knit all those bits of information together so I could make sense of their future. It’s the constant turning of the wheels in my head, trying to find ways to make a complicated concept relevant and easy to understand. 

It’s also the emotional kind of tired, from listening to the stories that they’ve been secretly dying to tell. It’s the bringing of their experiences home with me, because their lives begin connecting with mine – when they cease to be random faces who will eventually evaluate me in the end and become individual persons with individual stories, each of which is important. 

But most of all, it’s the spiritual kind of tired – from standing aside and allowing them to go through what they need to go through in order for them to bloom after being broken. It’s from being secretly sorry for causing headaches and stress but understanding that it is a requirement so they will understand that they are capable of succeeding on their own. 

So yes, I do get tired. But frustrated?


Not when I get to read their messages when the course is done. Not when I get to see twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings grow in a span of three days. Now when it sinks in that for a short span of time, in moments that sometimes feel so fleeting and temporary, I realize that I had somehow made a difference. 

When people ask what I teach, I give them the usual answers: I teach leadership, I teach wellness, I teach concepts and I teach frameworks. But this is my real answer: at the end of every course, of every topic, of every hour of every day, I teach life. 

I always find myself playing the part of a proud mother, basking in the reflected glory of my children’s triumph. In the many, many years that I have been doing this – as a consultant, as a trainer, as a tutor, as a mentor, as a leader, as a friend – and with the many, many pieces of myself that I have given, I find that I am forever grateful for those pieces of them they have also left with me. 

And when I see my group photos, when I see my batch pictures… Honestly, how could I not?

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When a Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

It’s funny how access to any kind of social media platform miraculously turns people into political analysts. 

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The Truth About Tips and Trust

It’s become a habit for me to take a cab from where I get off the south shuttle in the morning to the office. The building isn’t far – I could close the distance in 7 minutes. 5 if I walked with a purpose. The cab ride isn’t necessary, but I’ve found it to be a luxury I could let myself take if only in exchange for more time to do the things that need to be done. 

Today I handed my morning driver the amount needed to cover my fare, with about a little under 20 to spare. As I reached for the door handle, he turns to me and says, “Ma’am, may sukli pa po kayo.”

Change. It’s been a trend. Cabbies are more observant to give change back when it is warranted. How different from that cabbie from more than a decade ago, who blatantly asked for extra payment when I had the audacity to give him the exact amount. 

Maybe change has come. Not only from them, but from me. I, who asked first if they had change, before giving my payment. I found myself saying that it was okay. I knew I had overpaid – albeit not by much. But still. 

I wonder if the cabbies zipping around the Metro have noticed this – that people are now more willing to give what they’ve asked for, simply because they stopped asking for it. 

It’s surprising, sometimes, how I find the thread that connects all things in my rather colorful life. Today marks the fifth graduation I’ve held for a course I researched, designed and launched one year ago. The second for this year alone. Despite not being as popular as our older, more established courses, we’ve never had to cancel a class yet. 

I am fiercely proud of it – this program that was researched from the ground up, built from a framework that originally contained material I found to be unusable due to either lack of clarity or lack of relevance. This was my first design and it hasn’t failed me yet. 

As with any product, it has gone through many, many iteration cycles, each shorter than the last. No design is perfect. No design is permanent. With a perpetually evolving world, I have come to realize that all designs must evolve with it. 

But I digress.

In one iteration cycle, I decided to strengthen the topic on Relational Trust. Finding that I could not clearly delineate it from Organizational Trust, I eventually found a way to merge the two concepts in one: Building Trust. Trust is a universal belief. It is a truth from which all relationships stem – personal, professional or organizational. Graduation day is always the day when trust is discussed. 

Funny how, in all places, I found today’s thread between tipping a cabbie in the morning and discussing trust in the afternoon. 

Trust, I realize, is similar to the tips given. The less you ask, the more people are willing to give it. 

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I suddenly realized that I tried too much to be like you that I forgot to be myself. 

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2016.1: Starting Over Again

So obviously I haven’t been writing as much as I’ve been wanting to. There are days when something pops out of my mouth and I think, “That sounds awesome – that would look awesome in my blog!” And then I would completely end up NOT doing it. 

Or, like last night, when I hap opened this app (I’ve decided to try mobile story-creation), typed in “2016: Dear My 22-Year-Old Self” and then, after 5 minutes of not writing anything, I discarded the offendingly empty post. 

And so here I am, trying to restarts my journey into writing. Let’s hope this works out.  

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2015: Variations of Hell on Earth

There are a lot of things I can live with. Unfortunately, stupidity is not one of them. So can you imagine how difficult it is to perpetually be in the same breathing space as some who’s level of intelligence is in the negative? Can you understand how the level of difficulty increases when said unintelligent being is part of my group?

I used to think that maybe it’s me. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I expect too much from someone who’s been here for less than a year. I know it’s not fair to compare how I was when I was new, so I try not to (although I end up doing it anyway). But when the consistency of her inconsistencies are unparalleled, and when the simplest of things cannot be done, and when the same errors are being committed time and time again, it leads me to believe otherwise.

It’s. Not. Me.

True enough, there’s more then enough dislike talking through me right now. I’m watching Lady J take the heat for a mistake committed by TGoE. I know it’s part of her role – accountability, right? It’s a leader thing, I get it. As long as The Garden of Eden is under her supervision, it will always be her mistake, even if it’s not. But when you look at the long and sordid situation they’re in and you realize that all of it could have been avoided simply by TGoE correctly managing expectations, can you really blame me for really wanting to drown the latter in the loo?

Lady J wonders why she sticks it out with us. TGoE’s answer is the Ms. Universe response: “I really love what I’m doing.” Dude, seriously. And yet, when the question “But what if what you’re doing doesn’t love you back?” is posed to her (and it has been – many, many times), she has no response.

I’ve come to understand that this seems to be her natural response to potential conflict situations – she withdraws, stays silent, puts on her “kawawa” face (which is the most annoying thing ever), and sulks. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of hers (I have images of her very few neurons playing tag with each other – Goddess knows they have more than enough space). I wonder if it’s ever crossed her mind that she is, for most of the time, at fault? If you just base it on how she retells certain things, there was always someone else who told her the wrong thing. Or there was always someone else who misunderstood (but what she said was really correct. Like REALLY. She’s sure of it). It’s never her. It’s always someone else. Seriously, how long can someone delude themselves into always thinking this way (apparently, it’s been going on for almost 9 months and it’s still going strong!)?

I get it, you know. Her working in this kind of environment is hell for her. It’s difficult enough when you feel everything you do is wrong. It doesn’t help when every single person you work with (at least those who count) confirms this. Often times to your face. Her life in this office? This is her variation of hell.

Lady J is convinced that one day TGoE will decide to leave – not because she’s being to hard on her, not because of the fact that no one ever talks to her in the office (except for Robo-egg and Barney, but those are different stories and will be told at a different time), but because she will never be able to deliver. I, on the other hand, am firmly convinced that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Try to look at it from a completely predatory point of view:

You get paid every fifteen days to do absolutely nothing of worth except encode random stuff which other people assign to you, mostly because they’re desperate for you to do something. But since you aren’t capable of delivering at a normal capacity, none of them will give you work that actually requires at least the smallest iota of intelligence. After all, at the end of the day, it’ll still be their necks on the line.

So you’re coasting along. No one really talks to you, save for a couple of poor souls who are, more or less, in the same boat, and it’s enough for you because at least you have “friends”. People talk to you behind your back (like literally – they sit behind you and they talk. Using not-so-soft voices) but you don’t really care. After all, work isn’t about making friends. When everyone else is loaded, you finally get assigned to a customer. And because you have all the time in the world, you spend a better half of an hour talking to them on the phone, not even considering that they might not have the same amount of time in their hands. And when you fuck up, you know that someone will always come to your rescue – because even if you know that they abhor your presence, they also have an image to uphold.

So it’s a blessed existence. You get something for doing absolutely nothing. Why on earth, would you leave?

So I’ll say it again. I don’t think she’s going to leave. If she had an ounce of pride, she would have left months ago. If she really cared about the rest of us, she would either have shaped up (because there has been more than enough time for the improvement to show) or shipped out (because her being here is actually weighing us down and we can’t look for a more suitable person because she’s still there).

But where is she? She’s still here. And honestly, I don’t see her going away anytime soon.

And this is my variation of hell.

Dark & Twisted…

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Filed under Secret Life of Bees, Stories from the Garden of Eden