a matter of choice

September 22, 2009

People always have choices. This I found true. It’s not about which choice you selected but how you faced corresponding effects of that choice.

I had the chance to converse with an office mate who also happened to be my classmate in my graduate management class. I’ve always wondered how other  people at the office felt in not being assigned tasks or about work in general. Her answer reminded me that people always have choices. It may just be one of the things that make us human – the ability to identify possibilities and to decide.

She opted not to be “bibo” at work. Bibo is a term used to refers to people who are proactive and enthusiastic (beyond the normal level) about their  work. She decided to be the average employee so she  can have enough time for her family. She knows how other people will react to her decision and she has accepted them for the moment. It got me thinking that I have decided to be concerned and to take part in activities because I want to feel like I matter.

People prioritize things. The thing that tops their list is where they get the greatest fulfillment. For my classmate, hey family tops her list. That is why she made her decision. I prioritize work. Perhaps because it’s where I get the confirmation I seek. At the moment, it’s where I get fulfillment. It’s where I feel I matter the most. That is why work tops my list.

Recently, I have been asking myself why I do the things I don’t have to do. Why do I punish myself in meeting deadlines that some people can get away not meeting? Why do I edit papers after office  when I should be resting and enjoying my life – outside work? Why do I still want to  go to the office even if I’m met with tons of papers to edit and rate? Because I want to.

And since I have made that decision, I should be sticking with it. Easier said than done especially when I spent a lot of time thinking how sarcastic or unmotivated I currently am. What then keeps me going? It’s the thought that wherever I am or whatever I may be experiencing may not necessarily be the best – but it’s still better than other jobs I can think of. So I can say I am okay where I am – for the moment at least.



What defines one’s work is not only the quality of work, but also how one communicates one’s outputs and the relationship one establishes with people s/he will be working with and the person who commissioned the work.

The greatest challenge for the year.

There’s the tendency to create an ideal setting in anything we do. One tries to do everything one can just to make sure everything will be closest to the ideal. But the ideal setting is ideal because it’s not real. It took quite a while before I realized that.

With the effort exerted into achieving something comes the expectation that other people are to exert the same amount of attention and time. Again, that’s what is ideal – NOT real.

What defines one’s work is not only the quality of work, but also how one communicates one’s  outputs and the relationship one establishes with people s/he will be working with and the person who commissioned the work. Relatively, the easiest would be making sure one comes up with a quality output. The rest requires a real setting for one to learn.

One can blame age for being easily irritated whenever things do not go according to plan. Idealism would be a convenient excuse. Diplomacy is something I really need to work on – harder. It’s a good thing I am surrounded by people I can learn that from. It never fails to amaze me how they do whatever they do. And it gives me hope. It is possible. It’s just a matter of will.


The morning after Christmas, I find myself waking from my holiday hibernation.

Perhaps, it’s the clarity brought by a well-rested sleep, I found some time to be alone with my thoughts. I realized I haven’t really relished the feeling of settling all major financial concerns for the year. A deep breath and it was time to remove all the post it reminders at the wall in front of my table.

Earlier this year, I started posting to-dos and to-pays in front of my table. Now, I’m facing a blank wall – and it’s a good thing. 🙂

writing moment

One of my college professors advised us to write whenever we feel like writing no matter what the subject, time, or purpose. Just write.

My moment usually starts after midnight – be it studying or writing. During high school, I even lit candles, sat by the window, and used a pencil – no ball point pens – to write nonsense. It was the time I had the house to myself – somehow – when my aunts were asleep. I’d have the quiet kitchen to myself. If it rained, it was a bonus. Of course, my half-frozen coffee (minimum of 1 liter) would be within reach.

Half a decade later, nothing much has changed. I still need the coffee, want to be alone, light candles, and use a pen/pencil. This time however, I need headphones to seclude myself from everything. I don’t have the luxury of being in my company always.  A set of headphones is my constant companion.

Destination: Lucena City

Passport application. Where to go?  Manila or Lucena? I chose the latter. Anything but Manila. (I’m not really fond of going to Metro Manila.)


Woke up at three am hoping to leave for Calamba at 4am.

Los Baños to Calamba (Calamba Crossing) – 20 Php

Calamba Central Terminal to Turbina – 10 Php

Turbina to Lucena (Arias) – 88Php (ordinary bus)

Arias to Metro Pacific Mall-Lucena (Bayan) – 9Php

The bus left Turbina at 5 am and I arrived at Metro Pacific at 8:30.

When you arrive at the Pacific Mall, the main entrance is  – as expected, closed. Mall hours start at 10am. You will be instructed to use the back entrance of the mall used by the employees. You will find a group pf people waiting at the back entrance, do NOT wait with them. Ask the guard where the line for DFA is and he’ll tell you to have your things checked and then proceed to the 3rd floor.

Don’t expect the  comfort room flush to work when you arrive. Remember, technically, the mall is still closed. You’ll find a LOT of people in front of the DFA office.

1. Ask the guard for a copy of the Passport Application Form (no need to download from the website). The forms that the guard distribute have numbers at the upper right corner. That will be your number. Accomplish the form and make sure you have all the requirements (check if you have the updated birth certificate from National Statistics Office. During the time this was written, it’s the  yellow and bluish color paper – NOT the orange one.)

2. A few minutes before 8am, the guard starts letting people in. Kudos to the DFA Lucena guards and staff members – polite but firm in implementing order. Upon entering, put your accomplished application form in the tray you’ll find in the window before Window 1. (Or you can just ask for the assistance of the staff.)

3. Take a seat and wait for your number to be displayed. There’s free water by the way.:)

The Passport Application/ Renewal process requires you to undergo three processes/ pass through three windows.

Windows 1,2, and 3 screens and verify the required documents you have presented.

Cashier (Middle window) is the only place where you pay for the processing of your passport. Do try to prepare an exact amount to facilitate faster transactions.

After paying, you wait for your name to be called in Windows 4 and 5 (Encoding). This where you check if the encoded information is correct. Check the spelling and other minor details which may have been omitted or misread (Your handwriting isn’t readable at all times :)).

Once you have passed Window 4 or 5 for encoding, you may opt to have your passport delivered to you via LBC. The fee is 100 Php and the passport will be delivered 24 hours after release of passport. Say your passport will be released at January 7, your passport will be delivered on January 8.

Once you have undergone all these, do remember to thank the guards and the staff for their help.

So you have finished you passport application, how to get back to Elbi?

Take the Arias jeepney (9 Php). Tell the driver to drop you off Arias bus stop. From there, ride a bus going to Alabang, Cubao, etc. These buses will pass Turbina. From Turbina Flying V, ride a jeepney to Crossing Terminal. From the central terminal, get on the UP College jeepney. In the event that you arrived in Calamba very late and the terminal is closed, jeepneys going to Sta. Cruz, San Pablo, and UP College may be found in front of 7-Eleven and Chowking along the highway.

Found this article useful?  Share your own tips and experiences in the comments section.


Destination is my way of filing all information I have gathered on how to go to various locations. I’m tend to forget things – instructions ans locations included. At least I’ll have this to go back to:)

Thanks to Kuya Sherwin’s detailed sketch and instructions 🙂

closing at 10 pm

The building will be closed at 10pm.

I checked my watch. It was a little past 7pm. I did think it was odd not hearing the bell ring at 7pm. We were informed that the building will be locked later than the normal 7:30pm closing. Initially, I was relieved that I can spend more time at the office. And then I found myself dreading the thought of staying late at the office – the pounding in my head tells me I need to spend more time with my bed. My to-do list reminds me that this is a good opportunity to lessen my backlog.

Backlog, the word has stuck. I hate it. It tells me I have not delivered my outputs on time making me feel like I’m unable to handle my work load – simply put, incompetent. Work, right now, is the main source of my fulfillment. It’s where I get confirmation. Each task competed in advance or on time gives me a sense of achievement. I enjoy crossing out tasks in my to-do list. Now, I find myself transferring tasks from one page of my organizer to the next day. Depressing.

I got tired of copying and rewriting my to-do list that I just made use of post-its. That made the transfer of tasks faster :). What I find frustrating is that I am not the person who sits around doing nothing. I work overtime. I am willing to and I do work on weekends and holidays hoping to finish all tasks within the time allotted – to no avail. I hate the feeling of not meeting deadlines.