Tag Archives: realizations

Insights of an Employee of the Year

I won best employee! Okay, sorry if this post seems so 2016. I’d intentionally refrained from posting this feat to avoid being branded as a boastful brat. But good things are really worth sharing, right? Besides, I deem it better to share this with insights rather than merely tweeting a shoutout. So, allow me to wrap up 2017 and start this year by sharing this learning, hoping that in one way or another it may ring true this 2018.

1. Success is a bad teacher.

When I heard this quote, I was 100% sure that it defines exactly what I experienced. The whole quote says, “Success is a bad teacher. It teaches you that you cannot be beaten.” In daily life, there are wins and losses. It doesn’t matter if you are Employee of the Year, Popular Girl, Miss Congeniality in the office, or whatever title you may hold. Just because you are titled doesn’t mean you are always right and you are entitled to everything you want to achieve. Humility, humility. Nothing turns people off more than blind arrogance.

2. Your work is your integrity.

A trophy is something you receive onstage, but a testimony is something you have to live out each day. Some people mock the thought of awarding someone as best employee, because they know every single person in the office has imperfections. But once you realize that your work reflects who you are as a person, you’ll do your best each day. You’ll keep doing better because that is you. And you don’t have to keep pressuring yourself to live up to the title.

3. You cannot please everybody.

Some people will like you because you’re excellent, but others will hate you even more. Haters gonna hate, they say. Haha! While it became tempting to believe that it is possible to get everyone’s approval, it just isn’t possible. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin, because “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.”

4. Teamwork is not cliche.

And the thing is, just because it is one of the most discussed topics doesn’t make it easier to achieve. Our team, for one, is made up of at least four different personalities with different perspectives and priorities. There were times when we misunderstood each other and ended up bitter toward one another. If we don’t agree to disagree, we’ll all end up exhausted. I am proud to say that despite our differences and petty fights, we are able to work together and produce creative (yes, creative) output and outdo our previous accomplishments. Our team was the set of people who overlooked my crazy moments, believed in my abilities, and encouraged me to keep doing better in new grounds. For the Best Team Ever, I am truly grateful.

They say you can find family wherever you may be. We tend to agree with this when we look for people who will nurture and support us all the way. But when these same people check on us and correct us, we reject them. One of the insights that struck me most is the truth that the victories we win, we achieve with the help of people around us. The more we gain momentum, the more we should humble down and listen to the people who helped us. These are our mentors and leaders in life. They deserve our respect, trust, and admiration. Because they give their best to lead and manage us, we can do better. And we certainly can do even better as we honor them by continually achieving works of excellence — with or without the title.

I find it energizing to work for a boss that is fun-loving and generous. Onstage with our CEO, Sir Maynard, my boss Mam Leah, and our HR manager, Mam Cindy.

Not Another Heartbreak 

On an outsider perspective, I believe people who manage to get through heartbreaks are amazing. I’ve watched it in movies, read it in books, and saw it in some of my friends. I can only imagine how painful it could be, and how much courage it takes to accept reality and move on. I think I will not make it if I would have to go through it. At some point, I believe no one really has to.

While I was reading for the 90 Days Challenge, I came across love stories in the Bible. Adam called Eve the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, and she became her most suitable helper. Abraham loved Sarah, no matter how long it took her to bear him a child. Isaac loved Rebekah and married her; she comforted him through his mother’s death. Jacob worked 14 years for Rachel, but to him it seemed only days, because he loved her. As I pondered upon these stories of old, I realize that God must have been the Author of the best love stories ever told. I know He still is in the business of doing so today. And if so, He must be busy hands on with mine.

There are days when I can’t help but think about the person He is preparing for me. What does he look like? How does his laugh sound like? How would it feel to be his one and only? Ever since I was young, I’ve been dreaming to meet the person I’ll be spending the rest of my life with — my better half, my beloved. Through the years the dream lingers within. It feels like a destiny waiting to be fulfilled.

Life goal: to be as elated as Papa and Mama on their wedding day ^.^

But as my mind wanders about such things, I’m always being brought back to the starting point: God. He is the originator of it all — the Author of life, the Author of love. Without Him, there is no life, no love, no love life. The moment we realize that perfect love comes only from God, it fills us and changes us. Then it overflows to others. That’s why we can love unconditionally — because Christ has shown the example by loving us even when we were undeserving.

That is why I can love. Because He first loved me, I am healed. I am whole. I am set free. And so, I can love unconditionally. No matter what challenge or shortcoming or failure, I can forgive. I can overcome. There is no need to fear, to reason to be insecure. No reason for my heart to be shattered in pieces. Because He shows me what true love is, I’ll know it when I see it coming. Because His is the standard, I’ll know when a love is worth keeping and when it should be let go.

For these reasons, I choose to place my heart in God’s hands. Because if it is God who holds my heart, I can rest assured that He will only entrust it to the man who has His heart, who will value me like He does and will love me til the end like He would. I am assured that when I give my heart, it will not be just another heartbreak.

Courageous Kimmy

Does friendship end over two lost concert tickets? Well, it could have been.

I was astonished when one of my closest friends sent me a text message telling me that it is her goal for our relationship to level up this year. I thought, are we not that intimate enough? Didn’t we just practically spend almost our entire college life together? Then I realized that yes, there is more space to grow in our relationship.

Apparently, on the day Kim and I lost two expensive (well, this adjective is relative considering that at the time we were stretching our personal budgets) tickets to a local concert, we almost lost our patience on one another. Almost! And that’s when I saw clearly that there is still more to know and to love about this beautiful lady that we fondly call Kimmy.

aug 9 2011 kim and keren
Our first picture together, taken around 2011 (or I think around an earlier date?)
Second picture together (just the two of us!) taken around 2012. Is the rule one photo a year, Kimmy? 😉

Before plunging into the depth of what I still have to know about Kimmy, let me tell you a few of what I know–and like–about her. Well, she was born on the Day of Valor. At first, I took this fact for granted; only lately did I realize that maybe, God has indeed given this person a gift of courage worthy of inspiration.

Kimmy did not want to celebrate her birthday with many people. Lately, she preferred spending Christmas and her birthday alone at home in her room–spending time meditating on her life and her relationship with her God. It was a little astonishing at first, but on a deeper level it shows how she takes life seriously and not just play around. It shows how grounded she is in her faith in God, and how that faith directs her life on a day-to-day basis. I know a lot of people experience a lot of pressures from different sources each day. And I know it takes courage to accept defeat today, but striving to be better tomorrow. I believe that Kimmy has this kind of attitude. Kimmy has the inner strength, that inner courage, to face each of them head on, determining to know each difficulty in detail and overcoming it.

I remember what I wrote on the college yearbook for Kimmy:

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears, says Dean Rusk. Kim knows this best and proves it by what she does.

Kimberly Giel Joanne Fiecas is known to be a silent person, but deep inside is a person worth knowing, and worth cherishing. A listening friend, a persevering student, a reliable person, she knows where to invest her resources: her time, her effort, and her words. Kim treasures her family as priceless; she treats her friends as family; she considers her teachers her friends. People who see her in school perceive her as a silent, serious, and structured girl, but aside from her academic life, she has got a fun, social life too. She loves parties, sleepovers and movie marathons. She always aims to balance things up in her life, and knows it’s not always a score of perfect one. Life in UP means both victories and struggles, but Kim has decided to learn from both, and with every failure she is determined to rise up again and do better, all for the First Love who has given His life so that hers would be meaningful.
Life in UP ends so soon, but life itself continues, and for Kim, learning, living, and loving keep going on, as long as there is one soul around her left for her to love.

This beautiful, strong lady might be going through tough times lately, but I believe that she will make it through and emerge stronger after all the trials. I believe that in her silence is her strength. In her silence is her dependence on God. There is so much more to know about Kimmy, but one thing’s sure: deep inside this person is someone worth knowing, and worth cherishing.

I miss you, Kimmy! Hope to see you soon. We’ve still got a lot of pictures of ourselves to take! 😉

This year's goal: more photos together! And a level up in our friendship, of course. :D
This year’s goal: more photos together! And a level up in our friendship, of course. 😀

Desperate for the Missing Piece

There is always that moment in life when we feel like…



…in despair.

…beyond repair.

…in deep frustration.

…in utter desperation.

A moment when it feels like everything’s going wrong, everyone’s less tolerable, every action’s out of place, every aim missed, and all of what remains becomes so blurry you can’t hold on to them. It feels like, in the end, nothing really makes sense. It is as if nothing really matters.

But one person says it’s part of being human. It’s a place everyone has to go in at least one point of her life. Desperation is, as she says, the end of self-sufficiency. And it is true, because at the end of it all, we’re not meant to be live on our own for our own. We are meant to live with God, for God.

Yes. He’s just waiting for us to be quiet so that we could hear Him. He just wants us to come to the end of our strength so that  He could show us that He is enough. He just wants our heart broken so that He can make it whole–because He is the missing piece that can complete us. Yes, He is the only One that can complete you.


In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul. ~ Psalm 138:3

Your chance of becoming a hero

The most important trips aren’t about getting somewhere. They’re about getting to someone. (via Elliott.org) This is one statement that struck me one morning as I was browsing the news online. You can actually read the Time article here written by William Lee Adams. As I was reading this article about a Southwest Airlines pilot who risked his job and the credibility of his company by delaying a plane flight just to give way to a passenger whose grandchild just died, three insights came to my mind:

1. Relationships matter most.

When was the last time you had to put off some serious talk with a parent or a close friend just because you have some project or office work to do? Sure, we have to know our priorities. And there are times when we have to draw the line between our relationships and our tasks that have to be done. But in the end, on our deathbed, what we will be longing for are not our awards and achievements, but the people we, hopefully, have invested our lives on. Beyond the school/office policies and the deadlines our schoolmates, students, teachers, employees, bosses–they are people, too. They also need ears to listen, hands to give them a pat on the back, arms to hug them, and eyes that would give them genuine attention. People matter more than issues, and much more than papers.

2. Blogging reaches the world.

Well, at least for those who have  a good share of followers or readers. But it does not matter, anyway. The Internet is one wide avenue to share your thoughts and ideas–all the more when they’re worth sharing. It’s amazing how people across the globe who do not even know you and would not care to know about you would actually get interested in a topic you write about. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences; good memories are often too good to be just hidden for your self. One good word might mean nothing to you but a whole lot for someone out there who’s needing it badly.

3. Heavy losses are big opportunities to learn significant life lessons.

When I lost my phone,  I realize that material possessions, no matter how much you treasure them, will perish. It’s when I lost my phone that I realize there are a lot of wonderful things to focus in the here and now. With my phone I used to think I manage to communicate with people physically far from me. But then I forget the people I actually share the same room with, these people I can actually see and feel. When I lost my phone, I felt my world quickly became smaller, but realized it also became richer in terms of my relationship with people close at hand.

When I lost a set of friends who are very dear to my heart, I initially became so bitterly disappointed. But later on I learned the value of moving on, but at the same time never giving up on loving them. You move on and decide to be happy despite the bad experience, yet you remain a friend to them–caring and praying for them even when they fail to do the same for you.

When I lost my mother, I learned that life is not meant to be lived for one person alone, or for a few. This is because no matter how hard it is to accept the truth, these people we love would have to leave us–whether they choose to or they have to. Life, rather, is meant to live for Him by whom we exist and for whom we are made.

Now back to the article about a Southwest Airlines pilot turned hero.  He did a small thing for an ordinary man because of an extraordinary purpose–and is then looked up to as an online hero. Actually, we ourselves are heroes in the varied roles we fulfill in the lives of people we touch. Whether you are a student, a teacher, an employee, a boss, a leader of only one follower, a follower who listens to only one leader, there will always be at least one person who looks up to you and whom you have an influence on. Every word you say then and every move you make matters. And the choice depends on you, whether to bestow good or bad influence. The moment you step out of your comfort zone to make life brighter even to just one single person is the moment you become a hero.


“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.”  –Edgar Watson Howe

Reflected in water

Why do we have to do the things we HAVE to do? I bet you have asked that question a lot more than just once.

Well, I may not know the most fit answer, but I guess it is so that we can have the joy of learning to love what used to be a can’t-do-away-with requirement, and grow in the process. Just the way I am feeling right now.

So, I have to post a blog once a day for three days and two on the fourth day in order to meet the course requirement. Or, I could do it all at once and post them on the same day (which  I do not have the leisure of time to be able to do). Then I thought, I’ve never needed so much inspiration in my life! (haha.)

So what is a blog supposed to be?

I browsed my notebook and saw the handout my classmates gave in class (thanks to Earl’s group! :)). They gave some points on what blogging is, coming from Connie Bensen:

  • an exercise for the writer to synthesize his/her thoughts
  • a repository of information for future visitors
  • a reflection of the writer’s journey over the course of time
  • a source of a higher level of learning

Sir Barry also shared to the class three important things about blogging (which talks more about corporate blogging):

  • Companies don’t blog; individuals do.
  • Writing blogs is about reading blogs.
  • Blogging is just a tool, not the strategy.

It is also worthy to stress that people prefer blogs over corporate websites because they are more updated, personal, and relevant.

So blogging is another way of presenting online content to the customers, the readers–a way more personal and relevant. Blogs can be used to communicate to two sets of people: those who have initial knowledge of your brand and those who do not. People who know your brand can have a general knowledge of what you are about, but do not really know what you do, how you work, why you are worth their time, attention, and resources, and a lot more. Through corporate blogging, you can get to share to them how you as a brand are worth establishing and nurturing a relationship with. And the convincing happens in a way that interests them, not turning them off. With blogs, you can bring them back to an experience they had with your brand, and remember it.

Customers who do not have that much of a knowledge about your brand can be won over by blogs that appear personal and authentic. It might seem a play of words, but if through your blogs they may get to decide that your brand is something they can integrate into their lifestyle, then that’s the way to go. Blogs aren’t just about words, anyway.

I remember when  Sharyl mentioned how a lot of what we see in websites including social networking sites appeared to be nonsense online content. They don’t seem to convey life and meaning to the readers. The message which the writer wants to relay (if ever they do have a message in mind to relay) do not reach the readers’ understanding. But meanings are in people, right? And people attach meanings more easily when  they get a feel of the context of the matter–when they see the matter relevant and personal. These are what blogs are made for. Blogs enable the readers to reflect on what’s happening around them and make these more readable, more understandable, for them simply because they can relate to them more easily.

When people find themselves too busy to look up into the sky, well they can soothe their eyes by looking into water–and see themselves as part of the reflection, as an entity with a role to play in the picture. If social mirroring is  the case, we can consider blogs as reflections. Amidst the tiredness, the confusion,  the clutter, readers can get to look down and see what we want them to see about our brands and how these relate to them.

So there. I realized blogging isn’t as easy as shouting out your heart to the sky. And it’s true. I’ve never needed so much inspiration in my life. But it’s this time I realized that it could also be fun–and amazing–searching for inspiration elsewhere–when it fact, it could just be found right there, within you.

What really matters

It’s what you do with what you have that matters.

Yes, we’re living in the Internet Age, and we cannot emphasize enough just how important this technology means for us. Basically, it is part of almost everyone’s daily lives, and it involves almost every aspect of life. On his essay, “Shaping the Internet Age”, Bill Gates stressed that the Internet is very powerful, and it can work to our advantage or at our loss. It can enlarge our comfort zone and give us more options and opportunities, or it can increase the complexities and the confusion for us.

Gates mentioned in his essay that any new technology, including the Internet,  is made and being improved to increase the potential of human beings. It is meant to bring out the best in us. Functioning as a tool, the Internet is supposed to help us find significant opportunities toward productiveness and fulfillment.

The Internet enables us to accomplish more. It gives us no borders. It allows us to do things people decades ago could never have done. And what’s amazing, the Internet is still in its younger years, as written in Gates’s essay. It is still in its molding stage. There is more to know about it, more of it that will get our attention and keep it for some time. Gates, in his 2000 essay, highlighted enough the power of the Internet. But we also need to consider that we are the ones who shape the Internet Age, not the Internet shaping our lives.

The Internet is made and being improved for the benefit of the human race. We aim to get the Internet to its full potential, because by doing so, we enhance our potential. But the Internet is not meant to replace us or our significant others’ roles in our lives. It is made to enhance our lives, and not to become our lives.

The Internet, New Social Media. They are beneficial to us and we ought to use it at its optimum potential for our good, but once the focus shifts from the people to the technology itself, the efforts become meaningless. When vested on things or achievements rather than on people, the money used is considered spent, not invested. The time poured out is wasted, not maximized.

It’s not what you have that counts. It’s what you do with what you have that matters.