365 Days of Whateverness

Dear All,

Happy December and Christmas is just around the corner! 😀 😀 😀

I’m hoping that the blogosphere hasn’t erased me in its memory. A lot has happened over the months and I wanna punish myself for being a lazy brat! Since I’ve been gone for months and have lost my job just recently, I want to devote myself in creating something out of my ordinary life thus; since I was inspired to my friend, Arra Abella, who is making a daily post despite her busyness especially nowadays, I am going to make my 365 DAYS OF WHATEVERNESS starting today.

The aim of this challenge is for self-improvement especially in blogging, generating great ideas and sharing events and experiences to every one who cares to read my blog. I’m not pushing but just saying. 🙂 Anyway, I would be posting anything which makes me smile, laugh, cry or whichever my heart desires to share. Just a warning, it might contain, book reviews (since I love reading books but sucks at writing so I better just read), some random pictures and some ideas which just pops my head especially before I sleep.

I know it will not be easy but I will try my best to conform and post everyday the updates and moments happening in my life. I’ve been planning to do this since a couple of months ago but since I’m the best procrastinator on earth I have been ditching the idea many times but after some realizations, I am willing to make a change… for the better and I’m hoping you’ll be joining my journey to improvement and dedication to this project. I hope I can make it. Wish me luck!

Love,

Marion

Labor of Love

The second month of the year is about to end and despite my busyness, I would never let this month pass without posting something. This month may be the love month to most of us but since I’m single (and I’m very much happy about it), I still got my family and friends to show my love. Ha! I was supposed to post this last year but since I was preparing something for Christmas, I thought, I’d better surprise them (my friends) first before they find out what it is I gave them.

It was November 2012 when my crafty side had erupted (and I would admit, my boring-ness too). Did you ever feel your hands (being so itchy, well not literally) and your mind (causing all the drive and being so pushy) just wanted to do something new and something special? Well, I felt that. Maybe because of my frustration to try something new and make something out of ordinary, given also with my obsession with Berets and beanies. And then it started…

My first not-so-perfect beret.

My second attempt

When I bought my first crochet hook and yarns, I was delighted. It was a magical moment for me (when I say magical, the moment I saw those crochet hooks in a bundle, there’s a background music playing in my mind. I was amused! Okay, I know I’m over reacting but forgive me for my excitement). Right after I bought it, I can’t wait to get home and make some.

I googled, researched and read about stuffs on how to make a beret/beanie and I stumbled upon these very helpful videos in YouTube. Thanks to Tracey Nguyen and Ms. Teresa of Crochet Geek for showing their wonderful skills and talent in YouTube. Here are their videos: DIY: Patched/Pyramid Beret (Crochet Tutorial) and Crochet Geek: Crochet Puff Stitch Hat

Since I’m still a novice, my first try wasn’t that successful but I didn’t give up. I remembered, it took me 2 days to finish that beret and I was so frustrated! When I finished it, I was flaunting it to my mom and my dad and my brother who keeps on teasing me and laughing at me while I was making it.  He can’t believe I made it and I was able to finish it! Ha! After making my first beret, I’ve got a very good idea: Why not make Berets as Christmas gifts? Well, I did it.

My first not-so-perfect beret.

My first not-so-perfect beret.

For the whole month of November 2012, right after my work, I spent hours making Berets for my friends while I wait for my dad to fetch me. People who pass by me are amused and can’t stop staring (I am loving the attention. Thank you very much!). For that whole month, I was able to finish 8 Berets. I just wasn’t able to take pictures of all of it since the sender of my package was about to leave the country and I’m still not finish with it all so it slipped my mind. Well anyway, I was able to take pictures of my first 2 products. DELIGHT!

In the middle of my crocheting, one day, my father asked me why I made so much of Berets, with different color combinations and different designs, and I told him that I’m making it for my friends as Christmas gifts and guess what he told me. He said: “Oh… Labor of Love” and I love hearing it. Indeed, it is.

… love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …- Mt 5:44

I am typing this and telling my present situation to ease my hard feelings for this particular person. It may be nonsense to the one reading this, whoever you are, but my purpose is to ease off the burden I’m carrying now just to hear me out. For 3 days I have been on duty with my worst enemy. He doesn’t really know that I was really pissed with him (but maybe he can feel it) because it was our first time to have the same schedule.

If you ask me how I’d describe him physically, he is dark-skinned, pimpled face, quite long black hair and a medium built man. And if you ask me his personality: arrogant, bossy, know-it-all guy, disrespectful, lazy butt, unhygienic (you’d never wanna know) and a big snob. Well yeah, I may have been with him for only 3 days but he made those 3 effing days to be memorable to me as the worst days of my existence! He is a headache to me and my blood pressure is just rising up to my head. I was really pissed with him.

So here’s the story. It all actually started when his duty was supposed to start at 9 in the evening. My duty was only until 9 pm and guess what, he is late! Yeah, for one hour, I was calling him and calling him to come and he was claiming that his duty was supposed to be 10 pm. (That is what they do really, they come late and go home early, so there, I have revealed to you the anomaly in this particular section of our laboratory). When the day of our partnership came, I consulted him to clarify everything regarding on what time they should be coming during night duties and he was claiming that he should come at 10 pm. I was so pissed I was about to cry while arguing with him. I just told him that I would consult everything to our supervisor (which I’m afraid, I still haven’t done) and to hold a meeting regarding our schedule.

First round, done. The whole night I was trying to calm myself down and I just keep on telling myself that 2 more days with him and it would all be over. My second day with him, you may ask, is also devastating. Since he is the most arrogant and bossy guy I’ve ever known in my whole life, well here’s the case, I was in the phone with a very respectful agent from a company and I just asked him if there is a person on duty on one of the sections of the laboratory because the guy on the phone was asking and he was like: “Why? Who is that?” then I asked the guy on the phone who was he and he told me his name and then I told him the name of the guy. Then, he said that Mr. __ is there and he said to transfer him. So while I was talking to the guy so nicely, he was interrupting me and keep on talking and talking and shouting at me to transfer him. I can’t even hear the other guy on the line. HELLO!?!?!? I’m the one holding the phone and I’m the one talking so he should shut his crap and stop interrupting me. He started standing and I felt like he was about to get the phone from my hand so what I did was to stop him with my hand and made a talk-to-my-hand gesture while talking with the other guy on the phone. After that, I tried to calm myself down again.

Third day and third round. Our job is to receive specimens and bring it inside the laboratory and because I am very aware for the last 2 days, that he keeps on pushing the specimens to my side for me to carry it inside the laboratory,  I tried to tell him to bring the current specimens we have received inside the lab because I was the one always bringing it inside. He started arguing again! He told me: “What’s into you? Someone should stay here in the reception area.” So I told him then that I would be the one to stay, was that a big problem? Was that hard for him to carry those plastic bags inside the lab?!?! So there you go ladies and gentlemen, you’ve met one of the most lazy guys in the world. He doesn’t even have spontaneity to help me and bring those specimens inside. If you ask what he only does, well he sits there watching sitcoms and I don’t know what. Sometimes he goes out of the lab and talk with his other friends. No doubt his ass is getting bigger and bigger! Arrgghhh..

Well, so here’s the challenge, since he is going to the place where he came from to have a vacation, he asked for a favor from me. He has a schedule which is in the middle of his vacation and he wants someone to cover for him. My first thought: “NO WAY! I would never cover your duty time.” He was talking his shit out and he was telling me that blah blah blah… we should be supporting each other and everything blah blah blah. Yeah, I understand that he’s becoming this conscience to make me do it but I am saying HELL NO again! Then I went out, while I was walking I talked to God, I asked Him to give me a sign if I should help the guy or not. In this part of my story, believe me, the first thing that came to my mind was Jesus Christ carrying the cross while the Jews were throwing stones to Him. And the phrases: “If someone wanted to slap you in the face, give him the other side of it” and “Forgive and forget”  keeps on appearing in my head, so eventually I said YES. I don’t know if I’m stupid to do it or maybe I’m just too kind or maybe I was possessed by an angel but what I thought about was Jesus Christ. If only I don’t love HIM I wouldn’t do it. You know the worst part? I told him: “You owe me big time!” and he was shocked and told me “Why do I owe you?” and I said “Of course you owe me! If I didn’t agree to cover your schedule who would do it then huh?!?!” And he kept on explaining his shitty side about supporting each other blah blah blah… What I was expecting was he would humble himself (which I forgot that he is the arrogant type of person) and admit that he owes me and a simple thank you would do, REALLY but he just made me more pissed! I feel like blowing up. It didn’t occur to me to not do it, to back out of the deal. Ha! Oh well. Life.

So there, I don’t know if it’s a noble thing to do or just plain stupidity but well I believe in karma and I believe in HIM.

Always have faith. ❤

Get smitten with children: Volunteer as a teacher

It is Saturday and it’s seven-thirty in the morning, I was awoken by my alarm clock. I am still craving for more sleep but I have to arrive early in San Francisco Elementary School in Quezon City so I ate my breakfast and took a bath. Off I go to school. This time, I am not in class to be taught but I am the one who is to teach.

It all started when my facilitator in CFC- Singles for Christ invited me to join them in volunteering as a teacher. We are to teach children who are slow learners between the age of 7 and 17. We teach them how to read, understand and pronounce the words correctly. We also teach them how to pray and the good manners and right conduct. I am appalled for the reason that we still have a student who is 17 years of age and still doesn’t know how to read. I also felt sad regarding the facilities used by public schools as well as the scarcity of resources like books and notebooks. I hope one day our government officials in the Philippines would realize what we mostly needed. Instead of taking care of their pockets, they should think about the futures of these children first.

The picture is c/o my friend Rea

Tutees + Volunteered teachers

Being a teacher is never easy. You have to be patient, kind and understanding with the children especially when some of them are very noisy, naughty and wild. They keep on walking out of the room while someone is discussing and they keep on talking. They are not very attentive and that is the big challenge. You need to think of something to make them listen and to make them be focus to you. Unfortunately, I don’t possess the characteristics of a teacher but through this volunteering I tried learning how to be patient with them. I have experienced being a teacher for just a few months but through those months I’ve learned not only from those children but also to some of my colleagues who were also volunteers. They taught me how to be compassionate and be creative. And most especially, they helped me develop my confidence and give importance to the children especially those who are in need of attention.

From the faces of those children, I see myself in them. Their eagerness to learn and to participate in different activities. I just feel sad that their parents didn’t encourage them to study hard for a better future. I feel lucky that my parents strive hard for my education and convinced me to study hard and aim high.

Philippine National Red Cross

September 26, 2012, Saturday- A very remarkable incident to the people of the Philippines, especially those people who were affected by the typhoon Ondoy. Metro Manila was devastated and left thousands of people homeless and famished. There were places submerged for days and the houses were inundated until the second floor. A lot of people died and a lot of people were at loss.  Some of my friends were also affected; some were stranded for hours on their way home, some were waiting to be rescued on the roof of their houses feeling cold without food, and some spent the night at school.

Packing the relief goods

The days after this incident occurred, showed my first impetuous act. It was an hour before midnight and I was online waiting for updates regarding the suspension of classes, since our school is a flood- prone area. While online, my friend Cecilia asked me if I wanted to volunteer and help pack some relief goods at Philippine National Red Cross (she was invited by one of my classmates, Sam so she invited me too). It was a spontaneous decision for both Cecilia and I because we never really intended to volunteer. We were bothered by our conscience that instead of waiting and doing nothing, we wanted to help.

In that time of the night, it was really dangerous because of the bad elements lurking in the streets of Sampaloc, Metro
Manila, but despite the danger, we continued our plan. At midnight, we arrived at Philippine National Red Cross, which is near Intramuros, and we were greeted by the sight of volunteers who were already packing relief goods. My classmate Sam was already there helping and she guided us to the office to fill out our volunteer forms. After filling it out, we went back to the hall where the people were packing, and we started helping them out.

An estimated one kilo of rice, three canned goods and three packs of noodles. It is the contents of a single bag to be given out to the people who were affected by the typhoon and who were staying in the evacuation centers.  It was a great experience for us to be able to take part on this kind of situation as well as meeting new people who also aims to give something to those who are in need.

The day after our first volunteer, Sam asked us (since she is the one who has a connection in PNRC) if we could volunteer again the next day since they are in need of people who are willing to take phone calls from the persons who are asking for assistance and we agreed. We were assigned to be on the night shift so we arrived nearly midnight. It wasn’t as hard as we thought, since there were only few people calling, but the grave part was how to kill the sleepiness in our eyes during sleeping hours.

The usual calls we received were those people who were looking for their relatives and loved ones. There were also people asking for help and assistance in certain places which were still submerged by flood. There was a time when we received a phone call from a woman who is living in the US and she was asking about her family whom she cannot contact at the moment. She was so worried that she asked us a favor to check on them. It was heart breaking.

After our night shift, they were asking us if we wanted to participate in the delivery of the relief goods to Marikina and since, we were so exhausted and we all wanted to go home, we refused the offer. I know it will be another great experience but we were so tired. All we wanted to do was sleep.

While on our way home, I imagined the people worrying about their families and relatives affected, the people who were still on the roof of their houses waiting to be rescued, the people who were in the cold without food, the people who lost everything and those people who were in the evacuation centers and I realized, I’m lucky. Just have faith.

HFH Philippines- Volunteered as a construction worker

From the entrance of a deserted place, we can see a banner of Habitat for Humanity Philippines. In our minds and words, “At last! We’ve reached the site!” It was very hard to find the site since the place was not familiar to us.

Three hours before we reached the site, I was sitting in a bench made of steel at SM North EDSA, messaging my friends, asking them where they were. We were all excited! Not only because we would see Derek Ramsay, but also it would be another experience that we’d share to the others, hoping to be an inspiration to them. Six o’clock to six thirty in the morning was our call time. I was the earliest to arrive, next was Josh and after a few minutes Mary. We were all chatting and joking about the students and office workers who were in line to ride an FX. Six thirty has passed and Kang was still not in sight. She was updating me where she was already. We were all jerking around while waiting for her. Seven o’clock has passed she was still on the train. Now eight o’clock came and we met her at Monumento round about. The bad vibes was still on the loose… We were lost during our taxi moments.

The moment we entered the site, there were cars (and I should say, expensive ones) which were parked in the vacant lots and the people were watching over something. As we entered the crowd, we saw the policemen in sight and the volunteers, who were very busy mixing the cement and aligning the hallow- blocks. And my mind goes, oh goodness, we’re late. We tried to approach a guy whom we think was involved in volunteering and he suggested us to the ladies who were on the other end of the lot. We just passed our registration forms, they gave us construction hard hats and gloves, then off we go. There was a girl who volunteered to guide us to our team.

Number nine. It was our team and our team leader was Austin, who was from Legaspi, Albay. We also met Sierra, who studied at De La Salle- Dasmarinas and took up entrepreneurship. We were so oblivious that the two people who were in our group were from the tv show, The Biggest Loser- Philippines. There were also ladies, whom I believe was also starred in The Biggest Loser since their faces are familiar to me, were also in the construction working.

Carrying the hallow blocks to the house we’re making, which were really heavy, was one of the jobs of a construction worker. I tried not to standby too much since you would really feel their urge to work. It was also a great experience mixing the cement and putting it in the hallow blocks. From these experiences, I have realized that I was blessed. I was blessed to have my parents to encourage me to study hard and aim high. Education was indeed the key. I was also blessed to be financially stable and I thank the Lord for all those blessings. It was not easy to swing those shovel to mix the cement nor carrying the water using a big bucket for the making of the cement. I really appreciate those construction workers who are dedicated to their jobs. Some of them tried to teach us how to properly mix the cement while some watch us if we’re doing the right job. It was fun even though it was tiring.

After two hours, from the look of the clouds, we could feel that it’s getting breezy and there is drizzle already so they let us have an early lunch (we weren’t really expecting a lunch meal for free since they have mentioned in the email that we should bring our own meal, but then we were surprised that there were Mc Donald’s meals and juices distributed). It was Derek’s treat since it’s his birthday.

We saw Vina Morales being interviewed and right after her interview, we asked if we could take a pic with her and she agreed.

We bid our good-byes after we took a tricycle from the site. From the look of our faces, we were all tired and sweaty but it also showed that we all had fun. It was a great experience for us and so there would a next time for sure. 🙂 ❤