Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Wishes Do Get Granted"

Barely six months ago, I was here in this place enjoying a grande-sized signature hot chocolate with my cousin as he waited for me to arrive. And here I am again to this place, checking some test papers, enjoying a venti-sized mocha frap, choco doughnut and a brownie from the gift cheque I’ve received from Ms. Kats, that was placed inside a canister for Grand Marnier. I thought it was a shuttlecock; one guessed it was a set of brief… nice guess.
And the gift is....300 Pesos worth of Starbucks GC. Thanks Ms. Kats!

As is chatted a student from my Alma Mater for the preparation for the upcoming student elections, she asked, where I am. I said: “check my work description at the info page of FB…” As she discovered it, she said: “Wah, you are indeed in another Lasallian institution…” she added “Marami nga ang nagtataka kung bakit ka nandyan…”

Well, it is not only people from the student socio-political party that I belong with when I was in college are asking what on earth I am doing here. But also people that I know from Elem, HS and College.

Ideas just keep on flowing on my mind that I grabbed my pen and tissue papers to write my thoughts for the year.

December 23rd marked the 9th month since me and my batch mates, the class of 2009, graduated from college. It was a very memorable experience for me, specifically for our class, Communication Class of 2009 Section 2. Our bonding started at JFH202 and marched down at Ugnayang La Salle. The separation made the longing for the batch even much stronger, as can be seen at FB.

December 22nd was the 6th month since I started working …

It was June 15 that I visited my Alma Mater to get a recommendation letter from our department and from the College Dean. It was also the time for me to see the first day of Classes, me not being a student anymore. And the next day will be another journey thru the sky for me.

It was surreal, it was like one week before I leave that I received a text message coming from a friend if I already have a work. Answering “none…as of this moment…” A casual FB chat/interview followed. Few days more, a phone call from that friend marked to the history of my life. It was like a VO from the NASA control room stating that “the Eagle has landed…”

And the eagle has certainly landed…

The feeling was like I am just like in our place…so familiar. I felt like I just travelled from Laguna to Cubao. No weird or home sick feelings. I was wearing a simple attire; White LYC ’09 Exec Committee Shirt with some choco stain, jeans and slippers. Knowing that Sbucks also landed here, I decided to go over and have a zip of a hot choco from the coffee shop that I loved the most. And the feeling was: “I will not miss manila after all…”

While doing this blog entry, I am trying to register for unlimited text service from Globe, and the wish was granted 2 days after this entry was started. For this year, I am a Globe and Smart sim card users. Thanks Reg for the phone theme and for the wallpaper.

December 21st marked the 1st month since my probationary contract ended. 21 will be forever remembered in my life. Aside from “last day” of my contract, it was also the date that a very dear person in the lives of every Lasallian, moved on. Bro Arian seen me crying as I felt helpless going back to Manila to see him one last time. But that feeling was somehow ended with a dream (A True Lasallian Lensman).

Many people asked me, why I am here. Wondering....why I decided here to work. Why would a “manila” guy decided to work here instead in Manila. The last question was asked by my colleague in the office.

For one, I love the job that was offered to me. I am aware that I was not the “First Round Pick” for the spot. But I understand the reason, because I am not from here. But I was able to get the spot, an opportunity to continue what I am loved to do during my college years, serving.

Being a freshgrad posted a lot of challenges. Maybe it is not orally spoken, or written. But I must prove something… that I am worthy of the spot. I am worthy of the “importation.” That I am the right guy, for the job. Yes, the pressure was there. Because I am a guy from “Manila” and the name of my Alma Mater is at stake.

Yes, that's me. Taken almost a year ago for our yearbook. Too bad that the photo studio messed up and our class photo is now "missing."

Yes, I committed mistakes, many of them for the past months. Most of them are mistakes that a guy like me would be likely to commit, considering my degree that I finished in college. I remember my teacher in EdMan saying that, we should continue learning and never stop on finding answers. I am continuing searching for answers in life, and one of them is: “Am I doing the right things for me not to disappoint my Boss?”

It was a rough start, it was. But toward the end of my probationary contract my boss asked me if I wanted to stay…And I said yes. I was not hesitated to answer that question. For one, I love my job. Second I love the people around me, especially my Boss/Mentor/Friend, Ms. Lormi. And Third, I love this place.

“We are not perfect, if we are perfect, we are in heaven now…” This was the words of the head of the UPress in my workplace. It somehow motivated me to continue working with pride and honor, even I committed many mistakes. But in every mistake that I commit, I should learn something from it. It should sharpen me, to have an edge. It is also true when my boss told me that “It is not enough that we love what we do…in some way, is not enough…we should do more to be able to make our job better…” That’s the reason why I would like to be mentored, to be guided and molded to be an educator, rather than a teacher.

I am glad that I made this decision in my life. Being far away from my family and friends is not new for me. I am not saying I don’t miss them. But what I am trying to say is that, I am doing this for me to grow as an individual, for me to be a more matured person. And I am glad that my parents are very supportive in that matter.

I am glad that I am with my Lola. She’s the girl in my life right now. And being with me makes me understand things in life that my parents are just telling me. It is really different if you are experiencing things that our parents are saying to us that our grandparents taught them.

I'm happy to be with my Lola for Christmas and for New Year.

Every day that pass, I can feel that I am learning big time. From the experiences that I encounter everyday to the stories of my Lola, to the kulitan sessions that we have in the office…all of them are contributing to build a better me.

Recently, I have this experience from a prominent local pastry shop. I was dressed as me, the simple me. Shirt, Jeans and slippers…well slightly dirty feet. I asked the guy if he could to me the cake that was unclaimed during that time (the cake is supposedly to be picked-up by 9AM and it was 3PM). The guy didn’t entertain me. But a guy next to me, with the same concern, was entertained. Reality bites; that if you don’t dressed well, people will not take you seriously. But my point is that considering that I am in that place, meaning I have the capacity to pay. It just felt sad about it, and took it as a learning experience for me.

That is just one of my experiences to this place that I am considering now as my home. I don’t classify it as a negative one nor as a positive one. It is simply a learning experience.

That’s one of the reasons why I decided to this “Repackaging Phase” in my life, pysically and internally. Not because it’s 2010, but because I am now a young professional. Having this job of mine made me a deeper person. It made me more spiritual and a loving person, patient and more understanding. Having deep humility and knowing when to shut my mouth, especially if I committed a mistake.

I could say that I am the luckiest employee in this planet. For I have wonderful colleagues. Having diverse personalities made us one happy family. The chemistry is there and the respect is mutual. Even though, I am the youngest in the office, they make me feel that age does not matter, because they got my back. That’s the reason why I am very much open to be criticized by them, because they want me to improve as an employee and grow as a person.

Before 2009 ends, you that are curious where I am will now know my location.

6 months ago, I was looking over the sea of students rushing over JFH to be sheltered from hard rain. And now, here I am in the looking over the window of my favorite coffee shop…in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, where my mother came from.

And the 23rd marked my first day, as a permanent/regular academic support staff of our office. An inspiration for me to continue to work well, learn and grow.

I am Jackner John Borja, Assistant to Office Student Affairs’ Special Programs of the University of Saint La Salle. (see job description)

2009 is so kind to me, to us. Despite the challenges that we encountered this year, I hope that it serves as a learning challenge for us that made us tougher and wiser; a reminder that we can still smile in the midst of this challenges.

I wish for a wonderful 2010, not only for me, but for all of us.

If there is a lesson that 2009 taught me, it would be coming from my colleague, Ms. Kats, told me. That “Wishes, do get granted…”

Blessed to have two planners. Both coming from Ms. Kats. I gave my card to my colleagues with few stickers left to fill in. I have another one on the way. And it will be given to Philippe Jan de la Cruz, fulfilling his wish. My wish was granted, I grant other's wish. Blessing is shared.

As we face 2010, together we grow, learn and fulfill wishes for others and for me to grow in the Lasallian Ministry as a better educator, learner and individual.

Rektikano po sa ating tanan! ^_^