Tag Archives: YFC

On Leadership

Last week, I attended a three-day training at work about leadership. Specifically, leadership the way my company thinks it should be done. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a leadership training — or a training, for that matter — so this was a welcome break (except maybe that I have to go on day shift for three days, and I am not used to battling the early morning traffic and the rains in the past week).

So me, a leader. I’ve been a leader in a lot of ways before. I’d like to use the term “leader” by definition at this part of the blog. Based on my dictionary on Aslan, a leader is the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. I was almost always nominated as a leader of groups or voted as class officer when I was in elementary and high school. Not to brag, but I was one of the top students back then, and in a way, people then automatically equate that once you’re in the class’ top 10, you’re also a good leader.

In a way, I reveled in that power. I liked being the leader because it gives me a certain authority over some people. I liked it that people trusted me enough to, well, lead them to the desired outcome. I liked being a part of planning committees and student councils because it helps me not just be one of the people but someone who matters. And — I didn’t really know this back then — I liked being a leader because it gives me control over whatever situation I was in. I may not be able to control the people, but at least I have a bigger hold in the situation, and that’s always good, right?

When I became a YFC leader, things changed. Not immediately, of course, but more during college. I suddenly felt the pressure of having to be a role model for the people I am with, especially my household. In a way, the younger members looked up to me not only as the VP for Documentations bu also as a household head and someone they can turn to if they need a prayer, so I had to be extra strong in a lot of ways. Case in point: there was a time when I was so tempted to cut one of my classes just because I didn’t feel like going and I just wanted to hang out at the tambayan. I was agonizing over it, and was weighing the pros and cons of cutting the said class, and then I saw one of the younger members looking at me as if waiting for my decision and he was actually considering cutting his class too. Talk about a slap of reality and accountability.

In YFC, I was taught that to be a leader, I had to know how to follow. I had to know how to be a servant, because in being a servant, I lead. Weird, I know, but it makes sense (and that’s another post for me to explain that). I was taught to take care of the hearts of the people I was entrusted with, to be one of their lines of defenses from life. I was taught that I was a front liner in this battle that we, as Christians, are all in. We are the ones the world sees first, and the ones who carry the name of Christ higher than the rest just because we are leaders. I felt and lived those teachings, and when you do that often enough, it sort of becomes easy. When your heart gets a beating for another person, you’d think you can do anything really. ;)

When I started working, it’s very, very different. I admit to being a very relational person, and I liked having people to not only work with but be friends with too. I thought I had the edge of being a people manager better because of my YFC leader training, that handling people at work would just be like how I handle my household…but of course it’s not.

I’ve been a back up team lead for the past five months and there were a lot of moments that I wished I wasn’t. That I could be just another employee who’s satisfied with her position, not aspiring to step up and enlarge my territory. It’s like when a cashier who’s held a barcode scanners all her life and then offered a position to own the store instead of being one of the worker ants. Okay, it’s not exactly that way here, but you get my drift — it’s really a new territory. I’ve seen how much my team lead works, and how many issues he has to deal with, how many people he has to deal with on a daily basis…and seeing me in his position makes me wonder how will I do the same things he does (and still have time for myself)? It’s hard to have to always think on your feet and to deal with the mountains of emails he gets while I’m just a back up…what more if/when I become a team lead too? Can I do it? Can I be as strong as he is, not cracking under pressure? What’s more, my three-day training showed me the reality of how much employees expect things from their bosses, and it’s really crazy to think of having to fulfill all those. It’s almost downright scary. It makes me wonder why in the world I ever wanted to be in that position?

The comforting thing about this is…one, my company is there to support me all the way once I get into that position and two, well, people believe in me. I know all that sounds all too warm and fuzzy…but the three day training has inspired me to be a better leader. To be a leader in the truest sense of the word. And the training has made me believe that somehow, I can be the leader that they expect me to be, and I only need to find the strength within me.

Ah, this post feels so…idealistic and trying-to-be inspiring, I’m not used to it anymore. ^^; But I’m glad for the training because I really did realize a lot of things about me and the people around me. And by God’s grace, I pray that I may be the best leader He wants me to be, be it with the team I work with now or a new team or even wherever else He wants to bring me. :)

Youth Camp Memories

I now remember another thing that I am reminded of during rainy afternoons, especially in May. Youth camps.

Summers used to be filled with YFC activities. I remember back in summer before fourth year high school, the moment I got back from the International Leader’s Conference in Cebu (ah the memories!), we were already starting to plan for the youth camp for the summer. There were lots of meetings going on, with venues to visit and dates to pick and participants to recruit. I was hardly home during the week because of meetings and fellowships — sometimes it feels like my YFC friends and I live in a single class A motorhome as we were always together. Every. Single. Day.

Fun times.

Continue reading Youth Camp Memories

Virginia Tech Massacre

Back when I was serving in YFC High School Based, our program head, Kuya Noli, told us the story of why YFC HS Based is very important. Kuya Noli often related to us the story of the Columbine High School Shooting, where after the event, a dad of one of the victims was present at some sort of conference about it discussing why it happened, and he spoke up: Because God has been taken out of the schools.

Hearing about the Virginia Tech Massacre reminded me of Columbine, and reading about what happened, seeing news about it brings tears to my eyes. There are many possible reasons why this happened; people could debate over the killer’s background, his attitudes and whatnot, but I think — and I know some of you might not agree with me — that the reason this happened is a God thing. Or lack of it. Not that God wasn’t there or He let this happen because He wasn’t looking or because He wants to punish people because no one is noticing Him, so He took the side of the killer in this event…rather, it was the lack of actually living out God’s love.

Continue reading Virginia Tech Massacre

Revolution of Hope, Part 1

Yes, I went to Naga City this weekend, despite the comfort issues. It was a fun weekend, although it was a lot different from the Davao ILC last year. Because of its differences, it merits a two part entry in this blog. :)

So Thursday, I fixed my things and my mom (I love you!) dropped me off at the meeting area. As I said, I was nervous because I have no idea who I will be with. I met some of the people who arrived who are basically my “younger generation” since they all came from my chapter. The other people came, and it was time to leave. I rode a jeep together with other people in my chapter, some Napico kids and the SIGA who I was supposed to watch over together with Tita Precy, their couple coordinator.

On the way to NagaCan I just say that it’s a LONG ride to Naga? As in LOOOOONG. Since we were riding an aircool jeep with not-so-soft seats instead of an airconditioned bus with cushioned seats, the ride was well, butt-hurting. Plus the wind was constantly in our face and hair that I know it all accumulated several layers of dust during the travel. Traveling at night time is even different: it’s dark and cold. We all had to figure out ways how to be comfortable without messing with the other riders and to stop your butts from hurting from sitting because of the 10-12 hours of travel. It was a fun because people actually lied down on the floor to get some sleep, while some of us bundled ourselves with jackets and blankets so we won’t freeze.

Continue reading Revolution of Hope, Part 1

What Happened When I Was Eighteen?

As requested by Jun. :) Which makes sense. :p

My debut with my hosts, Chris and Louie.My eighteenth year marked changes into my life, both external and internal. First off, I finally got the awaited laptop, Ginger, when I turned 18. There was a compromise for it though, because my dad had to go to Saipan to work. I started staying in a dorm because I couldn’t commute with my laptop, so started my “independent years.” I also fought with a friend, revealed something really embarrassing, went back to YFC, flew to two countries in a year and failed two subjects in school (although the second failure happened after I turned 19, but it was coming before my 19th birthday).

My eighteenth year helped me to own up and be responsible for my actions. Admittedly, I did a lot of stupid things when it started (and no, I don’t think I want to share it anymore :P You may ask if you want to know), and I had to learn from it because it’s the only thing I can do with it. I also got closure that year, after what, almost two long years of, er, heartache. Harhar. :P But it was one of the biggest learning experience I’ve ever had. :)

Dorm MemoriesMy eighteenth year was the year I learned how to be independent — sort of. Dorming taught me how to budget my allowance, manage my newfound free time during the week, learn when to sleep ((Our bedtime was usually 2:00am at the dorm)) and learn how to get along with people 5 times a week who are not my family. I almost failed a subject because of my negligence ((Not going to classes just because I didn’t feel like it, not listening to the class because the prof is boring, etc — classic student stuff)), but recovered by posting reminders to myself that I should do. It worked, I passed. :P

At Golden Buddha temple with my familyThis was the year I flew to two countries: first in Thailand, before my dad went to Saipan for work, and then to Saipan/Guam for Christmas. It was my first time to ride a plane, and my first time to go out of the country. The Thailand trip was fun, but I didn’t really enjoy that much because of my being such a priss and my moodswings (but I really want to go back there — shopping man! Shopping in Thailand is a must! It’s not like Black Friday in the US, but still!). My Saipan trip was fun and the longest one I’ve been out of the country. It was nice spending Christmas with my family in another place, but I realized here that there’s no place like home. Christmas and New Year in any other place than the Philippines is no fun at all. I like the noise of the holidays here. ;) Through these trips I discovered how much I like traveling and how much I want to see the world. I want to go around the world and see all the wonderful sights that God created. :D

With my YFC sisters before the Discovery CampMy eighteenth year was the year I found my way back to my community and ultimately, to God. I lied low for a while because I was preoccupied with school and my personal life that I wanted to “find myself” for a while. I guess I was burnt out — I went from member to leader for a short period of time that I never really felt how good it was to be a member and I never really knew God personally. I knew Him through YFC, but not with my heart. If it wasn’t for my good friend and sister Engel, who kept on bugging me that year until I finally gave in and talked to her, for Bea and Myka who kept on bugging me to go to the tambayan, for the others who welcomed me back in YFC, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. :) And like I mentioned, I got to know God again for the first time ever. I learned how to pray — to really pray — and to pray for others. In all my years in YFC, I think this is the only time I started growing spiritually.

This was also the year I formed new friendships and lost ((Although I am still praying that this is temporary)) friendships. I formed good friendships with my blockmates, roommates and people in neighboring dorms, and again, people in YFC. I lost a friend because of a petty reason, and this is where I learned how to really forgive from the heart, how to be a better friend and who my true friends are.

Finally, this was the year I started to really pray about my heart, my so-called love life. This was the year I seriously struggled, but continued to surrender it up to God.  It was hard, but I knew what I was doing is right and true. Learning experience and the start of something better and more wonderful than I could ever dream of. :)

Girls celebrate their 18th year with a bang, because it’s her “entrance to the world.” Or something like that. I agree. My eighteenth year certainly left me blown away, all ready to live life and to see what else God had in store for me for the next years of my life. :)

6 days to go!

What Happened When I Was Fifteen?

Again, thanks to Rico for the idea. :)

Fifteen years into this Earth caught me in my last year of high school. Junior year ended okay, but I was ready to leave school for a summer filled with lots of YFC activities. Unlike my other friends who went for summer review classes for college entrance exams at AHEAD, I went off to different YFC activities all summer. I went to Cebu for the 8th YFC International Leader’s Conference, to Bataan for the KFC International Kids Village, led different youth camps, and had everyday bonding sessions with my YFC friends at this house. This was undoubtedly the busiest summer I’ve ever had, and most summer days weren’t spent at home. I would wake up at 10, go out at 2 and go back at around 10 to 11 at home. I did this every single day until the summer ended.

Then came senior year in high school, which is the best year I’ve ever had in high school. I was all set to make the most out of it since it’s my last year in high school. I could say that my section, St. Paul, is the best section among all, but of course that’s subjective. :p Our senior class was bonded mostly because we lost two of our classmates early in the year. They were caught with liquor during our field trip, and they were expelled. :( We promised our adviser that the remaining 33 in our class would all graduate together, and after that we were all doing our best to help each other up. :) And come graduation day, all 33 of us marched onstage proudly, remembering two of our classmates who didn’t make it with us.

Continue reading What Happened When I Was Fifteen?

I ♥ GK

I love GK :)

Today, I went back to one of the loves of my life, GK.

Now before you go thinking that this is some boy, no, it’s not. If you’ve known me for a while, you would probably know what I would be talking about, but if not, GK stands for Gawad Kalinga. To give you a formal definition of what GK is:

Gawad Kalinga (GK) translated in English means to “to give care”, and it is an alternative solution to the blatant problem of poverty not just in the Philippines but in the world. GK’s vision for the Philippines is a slum-free, squatter-free nation through a simple strategy of providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless, food for the hungry and as a result providing dignity and peace for every Filipino.

The first time I visited a GK site was during my first Summer House Training (SHOUT) with YFC High School Based. One of our activities for the week was to visit a GK site. Back then, GK wasn’t really that big yet. We visited one of the biggest GK sites in Bagong Silang, Caloocan. At that time, all I thought about GK was like Habitat for Humanity or something like it — all building and such. So what I was really looking forward was the builds. But when I got there, I got to meet some of the kids, who were all soooo sweet. =) They stuck to us like glue, and I know some people had a life-changing experience because of the kids. It really didn’t matter that much to me yet, because I was just really doing it because I was a YFC leader and it’s expected of me.

Continue reading I ♥ GK

It's coming around again

Hello, it’s the last year of 2006 and I still can’t connect through FTP so the layout will really just have to wait. Perhaps there’s other things God wants me to put in the layout so it’s waiting. Just be surprised when I have it up. :P

Anyway, I’ll be out later to go to my aunts’ house in QC for a pre-New Year visit, so I’ll be doing this 2006 look back now. I’d upload pictures, but it seems like I won’t be able to…so I’ll just link lots of stuff and re-post pictures I have lying around the site.

So…2006 was a year of fulfilled (and still being fulfilled) promises. 2004 eventful, 2005 was quiet, and 2006 was a year where I believed in God’s promises for me and the people I love; and also a year where I learned to branch out a little bit. Without further a do…here’s the monthly look-back I love doing. :P

Oh, and before you click that, I warn you this is going to be a long entry. :P

Continue reading It's coming around again

Of long days, kind strangers and reunions

Well I sure had a long day yesterday. I didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed, so I was kind of cranky that morning. My moodiness lasted until my mom and I left for Megamall around lunchtime to hear the mass. I was kind of in a hurry because I had to be at Assumption College in Makati before 2:00pm for their club meeting because I was supposed to give a talk. So right after the mass, I bought some food and started running to the MRT…but first a quick stop at Papemelroti! I needed to buy this box of Bible verses to give to the YFC members in AC, but the girl was being difficult because she told me she didn’t have change for my P500. I tried to look for an exact amount but I was short so I told her, and she said, “Eh wala pa rin eh.” I wanted to strangle her then — HELLO, it’s not my fault you don’t have change…you should find a way because it’s YOUR responsibility! I decided not to because I was in a hurry already.

So I went to Makati and walked to San Lorenzo Village. Of course, it was my first time there, so I followed an Assumptionista into the village so I’d know where to get in. I didn’t get lost and got there on time. I met up with Ms. Lea who led me to the YFC room and I met Louie, their president, who is such a sweet girl. They had a game, then my talk. The girls were kind of noisy but there were some who listened to me intently…I find them all kind of sweet and their noisiness didn’t really offend me because, well, they’re high school! Haha, after the talk, I got to talk to some of them who asked me some kind of difficult questions, and the other one, Shimmy, asked me about books. Haha. I’d like to go there again given the chance. :)

After the club meeting, I went to Glorietta again and browsed around bookstores while I waited for Gigie. When she arrived, she treated me some snacks and then I dropped her off at the MRT while I looked for a cab who will bring me to the Es-Twenty reunion. But it’s Friday night, and I’m at Makati, which means it’s hard to get a cab.

I went all around Glorietta and SM and Park Square to get a cab…until I ended up at North Park. I stood there waiting for a cab who will actually stop. There was a man a few feet away from me who was trying to hail a cab too. I stood near him and then he looked at me and asked, “Uunahan mo pa ba ako?” (Loose translation: “Will you steal a cab from me too?”) Of course, I said I won’t because I’m not like that. Then he asked me where I was going and it turns out we were going the same way and he told me we could ride together so it would be easier. I agreed reluctantly but of course I was kind of scared because I don’t know who that man is. We talked, and I found out he lives in the US but he was just visiting the Philippines and he was on his way to Batangas where he’s staying. He needed to catch the last trip of the bus from Jam transit and he was having a hard time catching a cab too. We stood there until we finally got a cab. We talked a bit more — he told me about his daughter’s college tuition fee, his divorce and how it is living in the US. Surprisingly, he wasn’t complaining that much about how the Philippines is compared to the US — so maybe there’s not much to complain? Anyway, when I got to my stop, I was about to pull out my wallet when he said he’ll take care of it. I accepted and he told me to have a good time and he and the cab went away.

That was really nice. :) It’s the second time that thing happened to me (the first time was during fourth year high school, a woman rode the tricycle with me and I helped her fasten her bracelet and she paid for half my fare), and I’d like to believe it’s God’s blessing for me. To be honest, I’m not comfortable riding cabs alone because I was always warned not to. I only do it in desperate cases like last night…and God is good. :D Amen.

I got to the reunion dinner on time…and it was fun being with my blockmates once again. There weren’t many of us though, and Jolai didn’t go down from Baguio which was what I was really looking for. But it was fun. It was fun reminiscing all our block days even if it was just for two terms. :D And because I love them so much, I’ll reserve all S20 memories in another post sometime soon. :)

Here’s one of the two pictures I have for the night…there’s a prof with us there…guess where he is. :P

Es-Twenty Reunion Dinner

Today I shall rest. And read. And watch TV. And fill out some forms for work. Haha that sounded so mature. :P