Post Grad,
Post-Haiyan Support

“The sun is shining, It’s a brand new day” -closing song for Post Grad

I trusted my instinct on staying up late to check out this film at ETC Channel this evening. (I’ve been an ETC Channel fan ever since it became a local home to most of my favorite TV shows.) And as usual, my instinct worked to my favor.  Post Grad was exactly what I needed, the movie that gave me the boost that was sorely lacking in the daily grind of the last few days.

It’s not something that many people will dig. I think that it’s primarily a chick flick. My mom and I enjoyed it and I am writing about it now in the midst of reflecting about the nuances of binary code, a ghostwriting sideline, a theming interface, current pending reading activities, ways to help my typhoon Yolanda survivor friend, and my pending Python scripts for work. But there was something so appealing about the frustrations of a twenty-something fresh graduate that got me hooked. I just had to make room for that.

As someone reaches the latter parts of being a twenty-something, it’s easy to lose the verve for life with the daily ups and downs that tend to consume most corporate drones. Post Grad is the film that reminds us of that wide-eyed, freshly graduated feeling and how we need to revisit that phase of life so that we can spend the rest of life well.

I did realize that I have friends who managed to keep their ideals beyond their post grad phase. One such example is my good friend Ate Avic. She just texted me this morning and told me that she passed the licensure examination for teachers. We used to work together in the editing world. I was the assistant editor for engineering textbooks, and she was assigned as a layout artist for around three projects we made. It’s amazing to find that after her brief layout stint, she was able to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

She thanked me for the board exam tips. Honestly, I have to thank her for being such an inspiration and reminding me that good things eventually come. There’s one board exam tip that comes from her experience and it involves just three words: NEVER GIVE UP.

Theoretically, there were many reasons where she can just throw in the towel and give up on her dreams of becoming a teacher. She is a mother and has the major responsibilities of raising her kids. She has intermittent projects from our old job that keep her awake late nights. She had this long-standing renting issue with a merciless landlady. Some years back, her mother had a major health problem and she had to lobby for additional medical support to politicians and to anyone who had the resources for these types of help.

Here is one person whose basic needs were challenged at every turn of life. Yet, she managed to work her way to achieve her dreams. After leaving the publishing company, she decided to work as a teaching assistant to a school in Bulacan. Now, she is fully qualified for a teaching item and her years of hard work have somehow paid off. It’s quite extraordinary.

A month ago, I also bumped into another old friend. He was a UP oblation scholar for mechanical engineering and ultra-smart man who ran a lot of online businesses. I collaborated with him on quite a number of writing projects before I was able to land my first job as an engineer. In 2011 or 2012, he hit a major snag and experienced a huge crisis and financial losses to his many ventures. My last conversation with him was when I bumped into him at Robinsons Galleria last year before I was deployed to my river survey project.

When I met him again last month, he is already this country’s overall manager of I am so inspired. He spoke to a large crowd of young developers during an event at Microsoft Philippines. I was just privileged to witness his success in that magnitude after having seen him at such a low point in his life. And it was delightful to find that he remembered me and we managed to converse happily during the seminar’s break time.

It’s amazing to learn about success stories of how people get from one place to another because of Herculean efforts and an undefeated spirit. And with the recent aftermath of YolandaPH devastation, I continue to see heroic stories of how people rise to the occasion. Indeed, the Filipino spirit is indomitably waterproof. To have that as a common thing in this country is a good way to accomplish and make it even in things like getting a license for one’s dream profession, getting one’s dream job (Post Grad style), and living life to the fullest, in general.

Last week, I was fortunate to finally catch my friend Fae on Skype. She survived Yolanda. I have lost contact with her for almost a week. She lost her home and basically all her prized possessions after her coastal town of Palo got severely hit by Haiyan’s 320-kph winds and the humungous and scary storm surges. She’s so STRONG. Incredible. She managed to chronicle her experience and she is temporarily living in Cebu to deal with the aftermath of this horrendous natural disaster. She even managed to smile and laugh when I call her on the phone. And whenever I feel particularly down, I think of her example and I know that if someone so victimized in such a degree can roll with the punches, I have little excuse to be unable to face my own monsters.

I don’t know if this blog still has readers but if you value my board exam tips and it has helped you, I appeal to your generous nature to help my friend Fae recover from Haiyan. She told me that she needs some supplies (top priorities are: batteries, flashlights, battery-operated radio, and blankets) and a considerable amount of cash to help her get started in life again. I hope that some of you can just donate to her with whatever amount you have in your heart to give.

If you want to donate to Fae, please comment with your email address and I will give you her details.

(To full-fledged Physics teacher Marivic Alegria Barcellano, Freelancer’s top PH man Sir Jojy Azurin, and writer/Yolanda survivor Fae Cheska Marie Esperas: just by being your awesome selves, you guys inspire me. Thanks for existing, for surviving life’s challenges, for reaching for your dreams ceaselessly, and most of all, for being my friend.)


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