Sadly happy

With the ongoing transition to the next government, I have saying a lot of goodbyes and see-you-soons to a lot of colleagues in the public service, especially those whose tenure are co-terminus with the current administration. Our agency was not spared as our head is appointed by no less than the President. It was, to say the least, the most stressful stint I ever had in my entire professional career. But as with any experience in life, I have many takeaways from working with her. I got to hand it to her and her unconventional style of leadership, I truly learned a lot (and this is not lip service) because she made us, no, forced us more like, to go beyond our limits. She has also kept our tradition of not being “regular” government employees as we truly gave meaning to the term public service.

I am relieved, grateful and a bit sad that she is going. I think I am getting my life and my sanity back, but I never thought I would say it, but I will definitely miss her.

Yesterday, we had our last senior staff meeting, and I have to say that this has got to be one of the lightest but meaningful goodbyes I had.

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A great loss


With bated breath, the Philippine nation collectively sighed and sniffed as news that the body of the late Sec. Jesse Robredo was recovered from the deep off the coast of Masbate. The otherwise happy long weekend that we were all looking forward to was interrupted as many of us constantly scoured the news and social networking sites for updates as soon as it broke out that the private plane he was on crashed. Then came the expected but nevertheless painful blow that he indeed did not make it.

I cannot say anymore than what has been said all over the media and cyberspace. He is truly a great loss to the government and the people he served. He embodied simplicity and genuineness in the desire to actually and really serve the public, which is more than what we can say about many of Philippine politicians. My sense is, he is only one of the few honorable left, and he was taken early. Bakit ganun minsan?

On the Angelo Reyes tragedy

I have two points here.

I got a bit affected with the Angelo Reyes killing-slash-suicide. To date, nobody can really tell, but most evidence points out to the latter. What can I say? That we really don’t know if he did steal or not. It’s easy to be high and mighty about judging him na nakonsensya sya because of the things he supposedly committed and the huge amounts of government funds that he supposedly partook of. He may, he may have not. Personally, I think there is some truth to it. But, but! Let us not assume that just because he is from the government that’s why he did it! It just sorta burns me up inside. Yes I know that there are absolute corrupt officials and employees within the branches of the government. But it is unfair to use that “because he is from the government” thing para isakdal na ang tao. E kung lahat ng taga-gobyerno e titingnan mo ng ganun, paano naman yung totoong mga nagtatrabaho para sa kapakanan ng bayan?

Jeez! I feel bad more about this issue than the actual suicide. lol. Last month, I “celebrated” my tenth year in government, and I could say with all integrity and dignity that I have never and will ever steal while using the excuse to “feed my family”. I have not so much as stole a single centavo from the coffers of the government save for some pens that are accidentally brought home from my working table. For me, there will always be honorable work available. We just have to learn to be content with what we earn. If we can’t do that, we might as well look for a better-paying job. That’s why it enrages me to hear comments like that, that government officials and employees are “naturally corrupt”.

Besides, people from the private sector also steal right? Why aren’t they being persecuted the way public servants are? Yeah, yeah, yeah, taxes and public funds pay for their salaries. But aren’t private companies earn by profiting from people’s money too? It just doesn’t make sense to judge people from the government that way.

On what pushed Angelo Reyes to pull the trigger straight to his heart (if he did), we really don’t know what he was thinking at that moment. It may have been borne out of desperation, or guilt, or hopelessness. We wouldn’t know if he thought of the action long and hard, or a spur of the moment thing. Is it a personality thing? Is it a sign of weakness?

I have endured depressing moments in my life. Moments where I actually felt and lived na parang pinagsakluban ng langit at lupa. I don’t know if I am psychotic (I hope not), but sadness and alone-ness are two of my friends. Generally, I am a happy person but I give in to bouts of depressions much like my next door neighbor or colleague. My career/job sucks, I am groping at parenthood, I do not have the perfect marriage, I have to deal with salbahe people all the time, and so on. I complain a lot and feel that people sometimes just don’t understand me or my need to be validated (there I said it). When one is in this state, sometimes it feels like one is at a dead end. But then, one gets to think–what next if you decide to take your life? Sure, your problems are whisked away. For you anyway. But what about the ones you will be leaving behind. It is such an easy way out. You wake up and then all your troubles are gone. No more neurotic people, no more financial constraints, no more of everything. But then, for me at least, I always, always think of what will happen my daughter in case I go away. It chills me to the bone. And then I stop thinking about it.

Was there nobody special enough to be the reason for Angelo Reyes’ existence?

The sun will come out…tomorrow?

This is going to be a short entry as I’m just trying to steal a few minutes from work. Our world at the office was turned/being turned a little upside down the past week ever since word broke out that a new management is coming over. This has left hubby and I going home late every day this week (poor Mischa) as the annual planning session we hold for the office came two months early than the usual January. Almost everyone was sent scrambling to finish this and that. In the midst of everything is the new Chairman. I couldn’t go into the specifics now, as I’ve said I’m just writing a note here lest it forever slip my mind to write something about this. But she used to be hubby’s former boss at a different organization, and so far, what I’ve heard and seen, it’s going to a different ballgame from what has transpired in the last 6 years here. Truth be told, I kinda missed the action and the always-on-your-toes feeling that my former bosses used to brandish around here. It has given our office an air of not working like a typical government agency. Which made us really happy and proud to be civil servants. Sadly, this has deteriorated over the last several years after the old bosses jumped ship, and new ones took over.

To make the story short, I think and feel that the same kind of management (or more) is about to come. We’re about to bring professionalism back people! Heads up! Lazy, laid-back and mediocre people, step aside. Tsismosas, move over. Mga sipsip, please go find someone else to waste your fake charms on. We’re here to work!

an end to the first semester and summer

among other things, i did these shortly before i let go the first half of the year:

  • visited an old friend’s place after two years.  i know he’s not there anymore.  i remembered the good and bad times.  i hope you are happy onchie.  please watch over mischa, addie and nicole.  it was good seeing your mom and richard.  suffice to say, i think they were happy to see us too.  we haven’t forgotten, and will never, ever do.
  • watched as a new president was sworn in.  hope is in the air, i can smell it.  i pray with all my might that he will not let us down 1) by surrounding himself with ugly, nasty and selfish people 2) by thinking small 3) by listening to his baby sister.  god forbid if all she can contribute to the philippines is patting her kuya‘s back because he wore a nice polo today or was in a “good hair day”.
  • heard the good news that lorenzo is safely brought into this world by my kumare ic.  welcome kid.  just like the inauguration, it’s a new world for you.  i hope you kids grow up in a better place than us.
  • said goodbye to a person i didn’t think mattered that much to me.  it’s so cliche, but true, that you begin to value someone when you lose them or their presence.  i strangely feel it.  and he left meaningfully by standing up for our utility workers.  kudos!
  • been given a gold medal during the cfolympics.  yahoo!  this event will warrant a longer post.
  • transferred yet again.  sigh.  it’s like i don’t have any clout at all anymore.

what i didn’t (or wasn’t able) to do:

  • go swimming.  or go anywhere near a body of water.  bah 😦
  • had any prospect for professional growth.  no interviews, no calls, not even preliminary exams or the like, despite the numerous applications.  need i downplay my skills and qualities?
  • watch any movie at all.

still have a half year to catch up.  i hope to be more productive and not lag around so much.  i hate the feeling of being “lost”.

on a happier note, mischa has been doing these since she turned 1:

  • “beautiful eyes” (i really don’t know the “timeline” for this milestone nyahahaha.  she does it when her mouth opening and closing, too.  it’s just the cutest thing.
  • stick out her tongue when asked.
  • ask to be patted to sleep.
  • give you stuff when asked.
  • kiss with her mouth open.  i have yet to teach her to do it with more finesse.  lol.
  • say “ammmm” when she wants to eat.
  • point A LOT for the things she wants to hold.
  • began eating fish.
  • can identify cats and birds.
  • does away with her afternoon naps whenever daddy and i are home.

she has yet to walk alone though.

a bittersweet parting

he hit the spot.  “it has not been always smooth sailing.  it was only last year that i get to enjoy your company”.  and rightly so.  i regret not getting to know him. i regret not being to prove myself and dispel rumors that gave him the impression of what i’m not.  it’s a real shame really.  now, the time is up.  i never had the chance to make peace with him.  although i found it really sweet and nice that he has treated me the same way he does other employees.  not all is forgotten, i know, but maybe forgiven.  the time for making amends is short, and goodbye is upon us as his boss steps down on the 30th.  surprisingly, i realized i will miss him, and felt a wee bit teary-eyed as the farewell party cum birthday celebration was being unfolded last night.  the years we spent at opposite ends of the management fence was such a waste, made worse by rumor mongers and suck-ups.  (sigh, office politics).  i used to think he looked too lowly on us because he was used to doing things the business way.  he wanted to run our office and the people like a private entity, and he was surprised that there are rules to be followed.  it was his first time to run a line agency.  in the end, i think the he changed his mind about us.  but i wish him well.  he has gotten to where he is through sheer determination and bits of luck.  someday, i hope to be like him.

adios sir.  till we meet again.

farewell tita cory

imagesaugust 1 dawned a sad day for the filipino nation. the skies opened, and tears fell from the heavens to mourn with a country grieving for a defeated former leader. although quite expected, many people still woke up in shock upon hearing the news of her death. felled by sickness, corazon aquino remained strong and with her dignity intact. she succumbed to death after a yearlong battle with cancer. just as she did in ’86 when she courageously stood up to ferdinand marcos, she again united a country so fraught with problems and riddled with wars at its leadership helm. in the months prior to her death, the nation prayed as one for her recovery.

today, i watched alongside my colleagues, as her hearse made its way to the manila cathedral. i felt goosebumps as i stood there on the sixth floor ledge of our office building. below us were throngs of people waiting as well, and hoping to catch a glimpse of the convoy. how it must have really meant for the aquino and cojuangco families. despite the sadness they are feeling at the moment, they must have been overwhelmed by the show of love, gratitude and reverence to tita cory. i was little when ninoy aquino died and was in my grade school days when tita cory came into office. all i can remember of her and her administration was that we had many days off from school because of the coup d’etat attacks every few days or months or so. but now i can realize how much she has done for the nation for her to garner this outpouring of grief and support to her family upon her demise. she has done well and good despite her minimal experience in public service. she was always unassuming in her ways, never seeking publicity into which she was abruptly thrusted into following her husband’s death. but she always saw to it that she did good. nobody can say bad things about her. i wonder if present government leaders would receive the same accolade she did today. she was an icon of truth, democracy, peace and service. she was a woman of passion, of courage, of love.

cory must be happy knowing she will be reunited with the love of her life now. it was said that the family knew it was time because she was already seeing ninoy. she must be smiling down on the people she considers her children as she leaves this world with the love of the people she has served embracing her and the family she has left behind.