Today is a rare occurrence because it’s one of the few weekends where I actually get to lounge all day in my room. Honestly, days like this give me the chance to pause and think about life in general.
I try to look at my life- what am I doing with it. Are the things I’m engaged in relevant to the society, to the world?
Then I look at my relationships with the people around me – am I colleague worthy of my colleagues at work?
With the time I spend at work, am I being really a friend to my friends? Is it okay for me to let my family miss me because I’m miles away from them all for the love of work?
Then I recount and recall all that has been happening. Like a typical lazy Saturday, I spent the day immersed in my tablet – trying to decide whether to read a book, watch a series or just binge-stalk people on Facebook. I was on my 3rd hour in my tablet today when I saw one note I wrote a few months back when I accompanied a group of our Education Ambassadors for a 3-day training in Baguio. This is exactly what I wrote:
Last week, I sat down in one of our trainings. We were asked to rank our life aspects. For example from 1 to 10, rate how are you with your family, friends, love life and work. I surprised myself when I gave my worka 10/10. It was probably the only aspect where I was confident to rate myself a solid 10. A friend asked me – questioned me why I gave it a 10. I thought about it and asked myself – have I been so workaholic lately? How come I don’t feel any “stress” from it? My parents usually ask me if I am okay with all that have I been doing and I in turn wonder where their worry comes from (and I truly appreciate it because I know how much they love and care for me) when I am perfectly okay with all that has been happening.
So now – I look at myself and I assess what I am feeling and I realize that most of the positive energy radiating from me comes from work. When you choose to be happy at work, all things just fall into place — you get to be more proud about yourself, you get to be more positive when you come home and share your stories to your family, you get to be more confident, you get to be more in sync when you are with your friends , in short you get to be happy as you are.
The people, the stories, the fulfillment – wow, honestly 10 is not enough. I find myself smiling when I know that I get to work with such amazing people. I can never really say it enough, the teachers that I get to work with, you are the reason why I feel like a 10 at work. Maraming salamat po 🙂 I hope that I get to work for this industry for a long time and help others achieve their 10 through what we do.
I am also very thankful to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) so here’s a shoutout to our amazing trainers from Trainstation!! Thank you for always reminding me that we have a choice on what we want to feel and who we want to be. So today – I am very excited to go back to work and I know what when I ask myself, do I choose to be a 10? ABSOLUTELY YES, today I choose to be 100% 😊 I hope you choose to do the same.
Sometimes happiness costs a few bumps along the road – some friends get lost, a little tampo here from your dad and mom, a 2-day flu and bedrest and on some days, a little heartache but I guess no matter where you are, who you are and what you become – the choices you make are what you choose them to become.
I know I am thankful for this lazy Saturday – I wasn’t really productive and I know I wasted too many calories on that large milktea I drank earlier but heck I am one happy 25 year old who has once again posted in her blog (after a year!)
Whenever I talk about Owl City or write about him, I always end up delaying everything because the moment I think about him – the music – the band and the people – a wave of memories haunt me and begs me to be written. So two weeks after May 8, my thoughts are finally ready to be shared.
I remember my last Owl City concert last August 2013 – me and my friend Reine went all the way to Hong Kong just to watch Owl City live. I vividly recall the energy of the band that night and how every song reverberated through my deepest emotions. Every time I watch Owl City live, I always end up overwhelmed and awestruck at how amazing the band delivers on stage. It was truly magical and memorable. However, as much as I had a good time, I knew it would never be the same without my fellow Filipino fans. No offense to my friends in Hong Kong because the people were really ecstatic that night but it’s just that it feels different when I’m not with my fellow Pinoy fans.
After that 2013 concert and the last album, The Midsummer Station – Owl City has become quiet. Adam himself confirmed that he has been busy making music. Late 2014, Owl City released an EP entitled Ultraviolet headlined by the single, Beautiful Times. The whole fandom was in a frenzy and I loved how everything became so alive again. I admit that I was one of those people who truly felt devastated when Owl City missed to tour the Philippines last 2012 for the Midsummer Station tour. I know, I am such a bad example but as much as I want to be that exemplary leader of a fan base, I felt bad not being included in the tour. But we had to look at the brighter side of things, we had to work our way harder, resounding that noise that will bring Owl City back in Manila.
This 2015, Owl City Philippines (OCPH) celebrates its 5th anniversary as the first and only Owl City community in the Philippines. Through the years, I’ve seen how the community has grown and is home to the fans of Owl City in the Philippines. I always stress out how unique I think the fandom is. From what I see, the defining character of an Owl City fan is dedicated, patient and resilient.
Last February 2015 – I was on my way to Cagayan de Oro waiting at NAIA 3 – 7:00am that day, checking out my Facebook feed and reading this uncanny post from fellow Owl City fan turned friend, Minell “OWL CITY IS COMING BACK TO MANILA.” I could not bring myself to believe that it was legit – it was not everyday that you see such news about a concert when no tour was currently present for the band. I double checked- triple checked and quadruple checked Owl City’s Facebook page and to my shocked surprise, it was real. After 4 long years, Owl City is coming back to Manila and it’s for Free!
I panicked and called each of my friends to deliver and herald the good news. I called Colwin – no answer, still sleeping I guess. I called up Lg- no answer, probably asleep too. I called Dowe – was at work and can’t take calls. I called up Mommy Rae – just got out of the shower (oops) so there was no outlet but a Facebook post and a chat to Minell that basically consisted of “OMG OMG OMG? OMG LIKE OMG?!!” I remember meeting my manager at my current work in the airport that day and fan-girling to her. In that moment, I had to run her through my alternate life as an Owl City fan for her to understand why I was acting hysterical and hyper. I even asked her on that day if I can file a personal leave on May 8 for the show. (She said YES by the way!)
It was really exciting to see the whole fan community up and about. It was very heartwarming to see the Filipino concert/music/hootowl community all giddy with excitement for May 8. Everyone was anticipating the show, inviting everyone to go. Articles were up early, just after the week the announcement was made.
As OCPH, we held usual Sunday meetings where we would talk and plan about our gimmicks for the concert. Originally we planned to do a beach ball party during Good Time but due to venue set-up it was understandable that we weren’t allowed to do so. We opted to do our traditional light sticks giveaway. We had to raise enough money to fund 250 lightsticks for the concert-goers and at the same time distribute fan signs for the band to see. It was really rewarding to see the people happy whenever we approached them and gave out these little tokens because in mind, our goal was really to make this 2015 concert a truly memorable one for the band and for the fans.
Aside from that – the community exhausted several efforts in different media. Our most successful campaign was the one we did over at Twitter spearheaded by Colwin. We were able to acquire an organic reach of 1.1k retweets and almost 3k favorites (keyword is ORGANIC.) Not bad for something not paid and an account with only 4k followers, right? We also did several campaigns at Facebook headed by Trish and Jhon. Overall, it was really amazing to see the whole staff team work harmoniously towards one goal. The staff team for the year is a blend of old and new and it just proves that no matter what era of an Owl City fan you belong to, as long as you love Owl City, you will always end up as good friends.
Prior to the concert, me and Colwin spent late nights preparing the light sticks and other miscellaneous sneaky things. What I love most about meeting with the OCPH Staff is how efficient we are in dividing our time- our planning usually go on for 20 minutes but our random discussion/gushing about Owl City go on for about 2 hours. As much as we try to be truly professional working staff people, we always go back to our roots of being the crazy fans that we are.
Concert day and we arrived early at the venue. I was with Hana, Colwin and Lg that day and as soon as the car hit the Bonifacio Global City road, I felt my chest expanding. I told myself to be perfectly calm because this is my 4th time to catch Owl City in concert – at least that’s what I thought I would feel. A barrage of emotions hit me hard in the face when I finally realized that I will never feel used to this band. Every time and every chance I get to spend with Owl City will always be an enchanting experience – it will always feel magical and surreal. I was a mess, a good mess melting inside composed of a very happy and giddy face greeting the familiar faces at Bonifacio High Street.
One thing I sort of owe to Owl City is the mini success and (fame HAHAHAHAHAHA) I’ve experienced for being known as Ms. Owl City to the professionals and mother owl to the community. I feel like a politician running for candidacy waving left and right – or I may be exaggerating. HAHAHA But seriously, only the community treats me like this and it honestly it does feel a little awesome to be acknowledged for what you do.
Hours before the concert, we were given the chance to meet Adam as Owl City Ph. I will forever be thankful for the very appreciative, supportive and trusting Owl City Management for their great love for the whole community. My heart is overflowing with so much gratefulness and admiration. I’m not going to elaborately explain how we met Adam but I just call us very lucky and I guess, well well appreciated. It truly makes me happy.
To give a little insider on what happened during the time we met Adam – I told everyone to stay quiet, composed and calm. Let’s all act like professionals, I said. We were ushered to a small room and caught off guard when Adam came out to meet us in less than 10 seconds after we entered. No prelude or anything – he just came out and adorned that charming smile we all longed to see in real life. Since we were instructed (by myself) to not squeal or anything, all of us just went “Hiiiii” and I am telling you that was the most awkward Hi in the history of Hi’s ever. Basically, the whole session with Adam was short notice so we did not prepare anything.
When the tour coordinator introduced us to Adam, there was dead air. We were all too starstrucked to say anything so being the mother owl that I am, I had to talk and deliver an impromptu 1 minute- straight English – no uhm’s and likes-speech. I too myself was surprised that I was able to say such message without any practice or anything. Everything I told Adam came from the random thoughts of my mind and heart and I was pretty sure he was listening intently.
I thanked him for being the inspiration behind our hard work and I also mentioned the recent 5th year anniversary of the whole community. I also mentioned how thankful we all are for him going back to the Philippines. I also gave a brief rundown on what are our collective efforts as a fan community. Adam in return gave out his message to the community and to the whole Filipino fan community. He was very happy to finally return and he is greatly thankful for what the Filpino fans are doing. He even asked us who handles our Twitter account! Grabe, nakakataba ng puso.
We had to say good bye because Adam had to prepare for sound-check and the show. We walked off the area with silly faces and kilig na kilig smiles. It was truly what you call “achieve na achieve!”
What I noticed about this 2015 meet and greet from the 2011 and 2013 meet and greet was the fact that Adam now is more serious and keen but all the while retaining that shy and soft-spoken attitude that we have all come to love since day 1. I once read this article from GMA News that says:
When I met Young, he was soft-spoken and meek; I got the impression of someone who’s still very much appreciative, maybe even disbelieving, of all the successes he’s notched over the last few years. Here’s hoping he never loses that charm, sense of wonder, and yeah, whimsy, in the years to come. — BM, GMA News
I could not agree more. This 2015 Adam Young version is definitely still that humble 2010 version and definitely better! (*I was so touched by this precious moment of Adam leaving the amphitheater – bringing his own bag, shoes and water bottles. So so so so humble!)
After that meet and greet session -we saw the band busy preparing during sound-checked and tried to call their attention but I blame the heat, the noise and the crazy energy because they did not notice us then. It was okay though, it was enough to see Breanne, Jasper, Gabe and Rob excited for the show.
OCPH funded and distributed free lightsticks for the first 250 people whom we saw while waiting. We also gave out fan sign that say “MANILA <3’s you.” Along with that, OCPH also gave out instructions to concert-goers how to rock it out when Good time is played. Everyone was all smiles and thankful for these little freebies and it warms our heart to see our fellow fans happy and appreciative.
Hours before they let the audience in the ticketed area, I was able to catch up and meet old and new faces from the community. Meeting up all the amazing people that day made me realize that this community is my anchor. The happiness that I feel whenever surrounded by them clearly makes me feel aflutter and really thankful.
We were seated at the front and were patiently waiting for the concert to start. I was like a giddy little kid- internally screaming-when I saw how huge the crowd was for that night. I know, the concert is for FREE but the special seats which required a 2k purchase at any BHS store also sold-out fast. According to Bonifacio High Street and their awesome aerial shot of the concert, there was an estimated number of 5,000 attendees. That crowd is as big as the capacity of an 80% filled Smart Araneta Coliseum!
The show was opened by a local DJ who dropped some beats. While raving to the Dj, Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice also gave out complimentary donuts and drinks for all the ticket holders. Hooray to Bonifacio High Street and MMI Live, Awesome show and awesome sponsors!
And then the show started with the band members coming out one by one. When Adam finally came out, the amphitheater was filled with howls, cheers and an excited noise of anticipation.
With 22 tracks on the set paired with the infectious energy of the band, everybody was all screams and lyric shouting. As much as the crowd was very loud, the collective singing was also very harmonious. It’s so breathtaking to hear your fellow Pinoy fans sing that non-single-mainstream Owl City track by heart. Gets me and tears me up every time.
The year is 2015, Owl City is so back. Wake me if you’re out there!
Some highlights of the night during the set were:
The way the band opened the show with this song called Panoramic from the movie Book of Eli, masterfully remixed by Adam Young.
The way Adam formally started the set with a heart seizure inducing “WAKE ME IF YOU’RE OUT THERE.” Ahh what a classic opener!
The way Breanne was all smiles and giddy by looking at how awesome the crowd was that night. Breanne is such a darling – I can’t imagine watching an Owl City concert without her graceful presence.
Jasper killing those guitar leads with his snazzy style. I swear, Jasper is a legend! I’ve observed that he is really careful, precise and perfect on stage!
Of course there’s Gabe Hagen (whom I was able to meet last 2013) still rocking the drums
There’s Rob Morgan, the new touring band member whom everybody loved! (And also v.v.v cute!)
Adam sang Kamikaze – which was a personal “rak na itu” favorite of me and LG
When Adam sang Beautiful times and during the second verse of the song, not so many were familiar with the lyrics but I was so I had to scream and mouth it out loud and I think Adam noticed me so he pointed is mic at me and asked me to sing. Yes, I am so claiming it because I stood up and sang the part “A dead fire rose and rose higher, like a vampire, up from the graveyard!” Check the video cut here.
When Adam and I had like 10x eye contact during that night? Thank you first-row powers!
When most of the audience sang “Take me above your light” too early during the Heallo Seattle bridge. This already happened last 2011 and once more this 2015. You are a very sneaky crowd, Manila!
When everybody danced off in their seats, waved and flailed and were all literally at the edge of our seats because we were not allowed to stand.
When Sky Diver was being sung and I did not know the exact lyrics of the song but Adam was looking at me — I had to pretend cough and look down just to save myself HAHAHAHA
When everybody just fell silent during Adam’s solo cover of the mash up of 99 red balloons.
And of course when finally we were allowed to stand, rave and party to the closing song Good Time.
So that is sort of a summary of what happened during the show. Words are not enough to describe how amazing the set was but we were all left literally and metaphorically breathless. The show wrapped up with a resonating noise of cheers and a reassurance to Owl City that he is really well loved and received in our country, by his “craziest fans” as he once said. It was what I would a call a great come back.
Minutes after the concert, Owl City did a meet and greet session with some lucky fans who won through an Instagram contest hosted by BGC and BHS. My friend and fellow staff member Denn Levy is evidently and ridiculously happy.
One big group hug for the group and the night was perfect. Indeed, good job not to us but to the whole community of fans who flocked and supported the show. As what they often say, the best surprises always come unexpected.
The next morning, I woke up with a very strong case of PCD, sore-throat and a bad punch of body bruises. It was all still worth it – especially waking up to the news that Owl City #finally tweeted @owlcityph. I only had 4 hours of sleep that night but I have never been so awake in forever. My heart was pounding fast and my head was spinning. THIS IS TOO MUCH. My heart and soul was not ready for this but alas, maybe we deserved this -okay take out the maybe and modesty aside please- we deserve this.
But of course, the unexpected surprises did not end there. There were also a couple of appreciation tweets and posts from Owl City and the touring band about the show.
And some of those appreciation tweets, replies and comments were also personally directed to me. I could not believe how everything went into full throttle domino effect. I was so so so so lucky and so so so quotang-quota!
When I read my post entitled Beautiful from the 2011 concert and my other post for the 2013 concert at Hong Kong, I have come to realize also some changes in the way I looked at things back then and now. I’d like to compare this parallel to how Owl City also transformed from 2010 all the way to the present- when you ask the fans and spectators, you usually receive a mixed feedback on how they receive the gradual changes in Adam’s music. But my personal opinion on this is always – to keep up, we must move forward. If we hear the same things all over again, if we experience the same events all over again – where’s the sense of growth in that? From being that fan who stalked Owl City at New World Hotel in his first concert in Manila in 2010 to being that fan who respectfully sat down the whole concert for the love of being a responsible fan leader- indeed I can say that wisdom and maturity are players of the game. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice other opportunities to make way for greater things. I don’t think I would be where I am right now if I pursued that attitude of a fan who stalked and stalked and just waited for a miracle. However choosing to be that fan to actually work hard for something gave me so many wonderful things and little did I know that it was just the beginning (this isn’t the end *ba dum tss*)
There’s just so much to be thankful for. I feel fortunate to be able to form friendships and good relationships with the OC community in and out of the country. Through this, I have met so many people along the way who are personally influential and inspiring to my growth as a person. My love for Owl City is always parallel for my love for OCPH. Years from now, I can imagine myself telling my kids (wow mommy na mommy owl) about how wonderful life was because of Owl City. Think it’s too much? I think it’s not because when I look back and assess what has happened over the past 5 years – I smile with a big heart knowing that so many good things has already been shared to us and our community. We’ve had our fair share of bad times too – some even very crazy but we got through it knowing that greater things are coming ahead. Amazing how this whole Owl City life of mine has become a mantra for my own life.
I will also like to add this portion where I’d like to thank the wonderful people who has been so instrumental in my life as an Owl City fan – Colwin, for always being the number 1 go to person of OwlCityPH. He is the brainchild of all things marketing and he is also the bestest and most supportive Owl City friend you’ll ever have. LG also for being my most favorite person in forever, period. And then our awesome staff team who has been working so hard – Hana, Trish, Jhon, Ajay, Minell, David, Roselle, Denn, Maria and Dowe. These people are seriously the most fun and humble people in forever.
Also you never forget the people who bridged you in your success story – from the people of MCA (old and new) and the very generous team of MMI.
My sincerest appreciation goes out to the most wonderful management of Owl City. MY LOVE FOR YOU GUYS IS THIS BIG.
Then to the resounding cheers of all Owl City fans in the Philippines. Many say thank you to Owl City PH for being the nest but really where would OCPH be without you? Your messages and great support is really appreciated. Rest-assured that our team is constantly working and coming up with awesome activities for everyone to enjoy. We hope that you continue supporting Owl City as an artist in and out of the country’s success.
And lastly of course to my number 1 inspiration, motivation and love of my life- Adam Young. I may not say this often –wait I actually do– THANK YOU SO MUCH. All that I have written in this seemingly long post is all about how you inspired me to be my best self. From the 2010 stalker fan to the 2015 very responsible-non-stalker-I-swear-fan self, I LOVE YOU.
Oh, these are beautiful times indeed. Looking forward to our next adventure!
P.s. LG also caught Good Time using my camera and there’s a surprise at 0:26. Bless your soul!
Whenever I went to church on Sundays, the mass would always end with The national prayer for the Papal visit and as soon as the final blessing is given, the song We are all God’s children plays alongside a choreographed music video. If you asked me weeks before the scheduled visit of the pope that if I were to attend any of the planned events in Metro Manila, I would have been very very very elusive and skeptical. I had my reasons, the flock of people who would probably suffocate me, the number of safety risks I would have to take would probably make me panic and the slight chance of choosing the right spot on where you would wait long hours just to see the pope pass by in 3 seconds would make me feel very frutsrated. It required devotion, dedication and a huge leap of faith — which will never be an easy decision for me. I am a devoted practicing roman Catholic but I never went with all the big fuss, I was content with my support in our church and at the comfort of my home.
Weeks before, I even planned to go out of the city and spend a nice vacation or get a couple of get-togethers with friends. It was the perfect time to go out and about considering that traffic was very spacious given that all scheduled activities were to happen strictly in the Manila area only. So weeks before, my mind was made up.
Then my planned vacation was cancelled due to some “paalam” issues and weirdly most of my friends were not available to go out with me (I have to rethink and recalculate my friendship with those people, please remind me haha) and so I ended up staying at home, watching TV and patiently waiting for the Pope’s arrival.
I don’t know what it was, I can’t put the feeling into words, but there really was something about the anticipation that made my heart constrict with overflowing emotions. Watching the television coverage – seeing the number of people clustering along the road, witnessing the infectious energy of the children ready to perform and building up the anticipation of waiting for his plane to land at the Villamor air base tugged my heart and broke it into a million pieces (in a very overwhelming way.)
As soon as we saw the visibility of the plane flying over Philippine territory and safely parking in the runway, there were already unshed tears at the back of my eyes. And when the pope donned his infamous golden smile, his skullcap flew off and his cape (?) from his outfit covered his face – I was a goner. I knew that I would be stuck all weekend glued to my TV, following the Pope’s itinerary. I know, I sound a little superficial from this point and my reasoning sounds very shallow but I believe that my love and admiration for the pope is very progressive.
I cancelled all of my plans from then on. Everything was contagious – from the energy of the people down to the very human gestures of the Pope. You just can’t help but be drawn in. Seeing him inspire and touch millions of lives is an experience worth sharing. I could go on and on, repeating what most people share. I just want to preserve this wonderful experience by listing my top 5 reasons why, after a week, I am still on Pope #Sepanx (Separation Anxiety)
1.The Pope is INDEED for everyone
Articles and testimonials all say that the Pope is friends with almost everyone. It’s like he holds a bubble that exudes charisma and a glowing aura. He’s like a friend reaching out and not really directly preaching but just being a friend who invites to bring out the good in you.
My household is a perfect example of this statement. I’m living with my aunt who is a practicing Protestant, my cousin who is a practicing Christian, my uncle and another aunt who are both Bhuddists and our household helps who are Catholic like me. I guess you could call us an inter-religious home. Despite the distinguished difference there was one thing we had in common – we all raved about Pope Francis.
We were all keeping each other updated about the latest news, from where he was headed down to what his quotable quotes were. We all fervently watched the TV coverage and wiping our tears altogether. For the first time in many years, we were all decided on a singular topic and that is one of the greatest gifts Pope Francis imparts to our people and our families. He is like a glue (sorry for the analogy, any other suggestions? haha) that keeps us all together in one place, working harmoniously for a singular goal.
This is also very evident in the amount of news we see the Pope meeting and being a friend to the different religious leaders all over the world. Amazing how he ignites the kind of relationship with these that is so simple yet profound.
Miao lauded and thanked the Pope for “bringing people together, especially with different backgrounds, religions, cultures, traditions.”
“We see how the world is moving into the future, and we always see hope, especially for people with faith.”
Can you just imagine how peace would be at hand anytime soon?
2. Pope Francis is a living example of Jesus (and we should all take part of this wonderful celebration and follow him)
I am sure the world can come up with a number of reasons but here’s the top of my list:
Pope Francis packs a punch in the way he draws a crowd. I have never in my life seen Roxas Blvd like that. People from all over Manila (and some even from the provinces) flocked and patiently waited for the Pope to pass by. A 6-hr wait for a 3-second glimpse. Amazing.
The way Pope Francis receives children. No questions asked, he loves children. It’s so heart wrenching whenever he stops his pope mobile upon seeing the faces of children just to bless them. (High five also to his security personnel who picks up the kids!)
Pope Francis has his way of gathering all of us and making us feel like children – innocent and on full-throttled in our faith, open to receive God without hesitation. Pope Francis has this evangelical zeal that provokes you to walk blindly without feeling scared, in fact you feel more excited than ever – oh, just like children.
3. Pope Francis is a lot like us
From the number of testimonies about his life as Jorge Bergolio up to how he sold of his Harley off an auction. He is definitely one cool Pope. I love how holy he is yet how human he can be. He makes us feel AGAIN that Jesus is a lot like us.
His simplicity really took me by surprise- his choice of vehicle for example wherein he prefers riding a simple closed vehicle like the Ford Focus (here in the Ph, he rode a Volks) instead of a bulletproof car. It makes him feel ordinary, like he is one and living with all of us
And of course he has his cute gestures and bloopers. I can’t help laughing whenever his cape flies off during his formal ceremonies or how his skullcap is always missing from his head.
4. Pope Francis radiate happiness- like a sun peeking through an after-storm
His trip to Tacloban was my undoing. Despite the heavy rains and risk of storms up in the air, he pushed through his flight and embraced Tacloban with a heart full of sympathy, hope and love. How can you not risk the crowds for a pope who risked his flight in an awful weather?
Quoting Archbishop Villegas from Pope Francis’ last mass at Luneta
5. Pope Francis strengthens our faith as a church
In here, faith does not stand out – instead it resonates.
The pope is a shining example of a beacon and herald of peace. His positivity and openness makes me believe and hope that the world can very much be a better place.
Real love is about loving and letting yourself be loved. It’s harder to let yourself be loved than to love. That is why it is so difficult to come to the perfect love of God. We can love Him but we must let ourselves be loved by Him. Real love is being open to the love that comes to you. The love that surprises us. If you only have information you are not surprised. Love surprises because it opens a dialogue of loving and being loved. God is a God of surprise because He loved us first. God awaits us to surprise us. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God. Let us not have a computer psychology that makes us think we know it all. All answers on computers – but no surprises. The challenge of love. God reveals himself through surprises.
Message of Pope Francis to the youth at UST. From Yahoo.
So there are no words for me to say but Thank You. Thank you for awakening our hearts and for always reminding us that the Lord is truly with us, every step of the way. A lot of us may have forgotten but knowing that we have a very persistent shepherd who leads us is a very good start. Most of us are off the beaten track, including me but most of may have received that little push. We’re going there, together. Thank you Papa Francisco, Mabuhay po kayo!
Bonus: Okay, majority will probably agree with me when I say that Pope Francis is adorably cute! Here are some of my favorite moments during his visit in Manila.
In here, the Pope describes how he prays to the families who listened to him at the MOA Arena. To quote him
I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means please pray to St Joseph for this problem.
The pope also did a rock and roll sign with Bishop Tagle (but this actually means I love you in sign language)
During his visit at the University of Santo Tomas, my school (haha!), the Pope was given gifts which included his own ID and lanyard. Instead of having it kept by one his security people, he wore it all throughout his visit. I wonder if he tried entering the Engineering building?
One of my favorite moment from his Tacloban visit was when he expressed his message for the victims of the typhoon Yolanda.
P.S. Me and my cousin were able to see Pope during his motorcade after the Luneta mass. Our story could go on and on, on how we waited for several hours, stood in the drizzling rain but it will all come down on how amazing it felt to see his infectious smile bless us. What a great experience!
Note: All thoughts and opinions are mine. Most of the pictures are taken from various websites and credited through link sharing upon clicking the photo.
Remember the day when you finally tendered that ‘long-overdue’ resignation letter? You have always hated your boss but you have always loved him. In fact, the feeling is so insatiable you can’t decide what to feel because all seems moot now – you have finally reached the final point of no return. You are about to say goodbye to your heavy no-weekend workloads, to the drama of it all and you’re finally free. If you’re emotional like me, you probably cried a bucket-load of tears – you grieved over the sense of separation and you recalled all the memories – no matter how silly or sad they have been.
You feel the pain sting in your heart because you’re finally leaving and a few weeks from now, you’re going to have the best-last-lunch session with the best officemates in the history of officemates.
And finally, at the end of it all – you feel like a 12 year old kid (not too old to tread on the world and not to young to be left crawling) who is being separated from that parent who taught you during your formative years. It’s like leaving home for the bigger city. That’s what I always thought about my first job – don’t we all? It’s a training ground where we learn everyday and we get to be thankful for the patience of these people who took time to teach us and not really blame us for not knowing everything at the first try. And this is why it’s gut-wrenching to say goodbye – and why it’s okay to cry (you can always do it at home or the bus ride after your last day.) But despite all of the sadness, we have to let go. Because seriously, this struggle is a prologue of what is to come next. You’ve a got a bigger problem up ahead – you’ve got a new job.
So getting a new job means we get to be a little celebratory about it right? Congratulations, you’re hired and you’re on your way to greener pastures. You start sketching a very beautiful picture of you in your own condo unit in the ‘it-city’ of your country, sipping sangria with your bff’s on a Friday night. It’s time for you to get in the game and seek bigger opportunities in this new environment, with these new people. It’s what you’ve always needed, it’s the reason why you left your previous job – it’s a fresh start. Looks like everything is bundled up as a nice perfect package. But everything does come with a price and at this point you need to step back a little and take a long look through the bigger picture, it’s time to start plotting out a battle plan. You may or may not agree with me but starting a new job is a lot easier said than done. It is one big struggle that takes time, patience and whole lot of heart. If you’re someone like me then you have probably also experienced the stages of being that girl who just got a new job.
The stages (or phases or levels or call them whatever you like, really) of starting a new job:
1. Orientation Day
This stage is like a prequel to the real thing- literally speaking, it is a prequel (hahahahaha). Imagine this as the ‘Kill order’ of the series ‘The Maze Runner’ (sorry if you’re not a fan, you can always google it but just understand that it’s a prequel of the whole big series) – don’t worry, it is a less gory prequel. This stage gives you an overview of the days to come. It’s like a 50/50 position because you’re not yet officially part of your new company but technically, you’re already hired.
It’s the nerve-wracking stage where you feel proud that you got the job and you’re here ready to face the world with a new title. You feel extremely happy about this whole new you and you’re excited to get on with it.
Since you’re in the office (if your orientation does not happen in your office then it’s probably a scam, so run) you get to scan the surroundings. You gauge the feel and criticize the interior design of your new workplace. You cringe as the HR associate introduces you to the people in the office, trying to act cool without being too overly friendly because you want to give off a good impression – not too shy, not too proud.
You never really make friends during this day. The most hopeful conversation from the day are words of encouragement from the HR associate – who is officially the first ‘friend’ you made in this new job. But don’t get too attached – don’t go home thinking that tomorrow, when I officially start, I might probably get invited to lunch by this HR associate. Unfortunately, HR friendships don’t really work out – not because HR people are snobby after Orientation day, it’s because they have their own teams to get lunch with. So get over yourself and get over orientation day. Tomorrow is the day that we really start. BRING IT ON.
2. First Day
“Ohdearlord. This is AWKWARD. HEHE. I feel so awkward I just want to go to the bathroom but I’ve been there three times already today so my resources are running low. It’s time to panic but god I can’t do that infront of everybody. I have to act cool and collected. That’s right, I’ll pretend e-mail just to save my self from this embarrassment.”
Yep. You’re officially part of the crew! And guess what? You’re the newest one in the group so sit back, relax and be awkward. ALL DAY. This is a day wherein you have to accept defeat. You have no choice, you’re the newest of the new. You will always be the new one on this day until tomorrow – that is, if a new team member joins the company. This is the part where you literally sit in your desk all day, moving right and left – trying not to get too squeaky with your chair and you set up your whole life starting from your email account.
The first two hours would be bearable. Sine it’s your first day, you probably came to work early – meaning, the whole office is practically deserted. You relax and you get to fumble with your laptop – you fix the wifi connection, upload your picture to your Skype account and finish off your pink-font signature. Then the office starts filling up and it gets all too noisy. Now is the time to feel super duper awkward and you just have to hold on because dear the worst is yet to come – you have lunch hour next.
If you are lucky – you get to spend your first-day-lunch-hour with your team mates but if you’re not then it’s inevitably an emergency me time at the nearest McDonalds. Sorry, this is all part of growing up. You and your McChicken burger alone on Monday noon? Tough love.
After lunch should be better. It’s just a matter of acting nonchalant and praying that time should speed up because dang, I am already done with my e-mail and I have practically installed everything that I need to install. Then the angels came down, announcing that it’s already 6pm – HALLELUJAH!
3. The first week
Okay, greenie (that’s what they call newbies at the Maze Runner, sorry for my references) – if you want to build a life out of this new job then it’s time for you to work it out. One step at a time but you have no choice but to do it. Remember what you left- remember all the good friends of your previous work – don’t let all the sacrifice of leaving them go to waste!
During this week – you test all the waters. You walk up to people within your vicinity, strike them a question and see who answers best:
Question: Hey, I’m Grace – the new girl from the block from this department! *reaches hand out*
a. Hehe, I’m ___. You’re okay but sorry I have previous engagement and I’m really late for my meeting. Bye.
b. Ohmygod!!! I feel the same way about this small talk! *friend from other table calls her attention* *you go drift back to your own world* *music out*
c. Nope, I’m the resident bitch and you talking to me? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
d. So you wanna go out for lunch?
Pick letter d and your soul is redeemed. At least at this point you have someone to make lunch bearable. You and McChicken will definitely welcome your new lunch buddy with open arms and large fries shared has never tasted better.
The first week is the time to fish for all the information you can get from the company – no, I’m not talking about secrets and liabilities cause you’ll only earn that privilege when you’re a manager, which would probably take years from now- here, you ask about your co-workers, what do people wear, learn about employee satisfaction and ask the burning question at the back of your mind – ‘how do you get this vending machine to work again?’
NOTE: The first week will be bloody hard for you – emotionally speaking. You’ll miss everything from your old work because you can’t help keep compare your comfort back to now. You are probably questioning your decision about leaving your old job and you start being emotional about your accomplishments back there. Those were some of the greatest moments of your life.
But you have to toughen it up and start standing up for your decision. Next thing you know it’s already Friday and there you have it. The first week is all done. You have a new friend, you know your company background and you have successfully vended out fresh brewed coffee.
4. The first month.
Now that you’re nearing your 30th day, isn’t everything awesome? Nope. It is not. Admittedly, things still feel new but you’re getting the hang of it. It is the stage where we take the familiarization to a deeper level. You need to learn about everything – just like a cover to cover quiz and you know how annoying that can be right? You need to befriend the right people at this point of time because you need to build a good support system, you can’t stay and be all alone because come on no man is an island – you’d need the help of the jolly messengers to get your documents safely to your clients. You need to learn how to work the photocopying machine without looking like a dork.
I call it the hard training because eventually you will mess up (hopefully not much) but it is perfectly okay. You don’t need to sweat it if you accidentally deleted the Masterfile of names from your team leader’s database. You’ve got the newbie ammunition right up your sleeve! This is your grace period and you have to use it wisely otherwise you’ll end up a mess in the days to come. The next few months after will be a battle of you – your newness- and how you would learn to keep up with the stability of your new workplace -eventually, without the defense of being exactly new ’cause turns out there is the new kid who just started out the other day and is acing excel with his pivot table and concatenating powers (which actually took you three weeks to learn.) You’re not the type who gets easily left behind right? It’s time to take things seriously.
5. The next months to come
I have to be honest, this blog post is really inspired with what I have been feeling the past few weeks. I can only hope you feel the same way otherwise I’m wasting my blogging powers. Truth is, I just passed my first month in this new job and I can’t really say much for this stage since I can only tell from my first job – which might be a little biased since being it as my first job after college – the newbie ammunition was valid for 6months or so.
I guess you can help me out in the comments section after but I think these months are the formative stages of your new work life. Think Promil and their advertisements where babies grew up to be toddlers and then as kids. In this stage- you’ll probably get scolded for doing something wrong and the choice of blame is up to your judgment- blame it for not knowing well enough or just blame it to experience. You’ll probably get a praise for a job well done and that would really feel glorious. You will meet people who might piss the hell out of you and eventually you’ll meet your best officemates ever here too. Life will be great again and it will require you to vent out your worries, fear, anger and happy times – next thing you know it, you’re already celebrating your first year anniversary.
6. (Epilogue) 1st year at work
You recollect all the memories, awkward and non-awkward, and then you realize that it was not so bad after all.
So you see the next time you walk in to your office pantry and see the new kid quizzically looking at the coffee vending machine, you walk up to him, flash him a kindly smile (one that does not scare!) and you help him get his espresso because a year from now you’d want him to feel the same way as you do right now.
I remember my first Owl City concert vividly. I was starting out, I felt like a tiny plant sprouting up in a bean and seeing the lovely world for the first time. Me and my best-friend, Reine went to the concert with paid tickets, my first-ever concert ticket and we were proud. I had no connections and no friends from the industry. I had one friend though, Kate. (Kate is a very good friend of mine whom I met because of the Jonas Brothers)
During the day of the concert me and Reine attempted (but failed! Demnations, we really failed haha) to meet Adam at his hotel. We also begged the producers to help us meet the band but nothing happened. It was one of the most disheartening moments of my life. I wanted to cry and sit in a corner because the artist I admire so much is within my vicinity but not the slightest of chance can ever lead me into meeting him up-front. So the concert happened and every heartache was swept away with the exhilarating feeling of watching your favorite artist live, singing with the people who admire him as well.
As I have relayed in my previous stories, that concert strengthened my want to develop the community, Owl City Philippines but come on — on a scale of one to Jonas Brothers PH (they’re my super-idol fan base), we were next to nothing. We were small in number but I guess the universe gave us a chance to grow which was pretty awesome. As it grew, I knew that I had to do something, I wanted us to be recognized and acknowledged. Gathering up my wits, I contacted MCA Music Inc. from which I met ate Choy, who introduced me to Sir Wilson. For some weird reason, it felt weird. Sir Wilson Cruz. Cruz…Cruz…? Kate Cruz? She mentioned her dad was from MCA Music. Oh COULD IT BE?! Turned out, sir Wilson is the father of Kate, my friend. And so from that moment, everything was just inevitable. I could affirm that I might be one of the most spoiled FC leaders under MCA Music Inc. because we were personally handled by Sir Wilson (until my internship, we were then under ate Mar!). He helped me build my contacts and he supported by giving out premium items to be given to the community. He gave us a chance and it’s really overwhelming to see that chance turn into a community of solid and sincere fans.
University life happened and so did my internship. I was already in rapid exchange of emails with sir Wilson prior to applying but I have never met him until that day. I walked up to Raffles building figuring out I was an hour early for my scheduled interview and so I ended up with my sweaty palms and my nerve-wracked heart waiting at Starbucks. I had been indulging in my cup of comfort Hot chocolate when I heard someone talking about his son going to college.
“Oo nga yung panganay ko papasok na ng college”
“Oh talaga? Bilis ah. Saan ba?”
and when I carelessly turned around, I saw a man wearing glasses and wondered.. Is he? Gosh, how awkward this will be if he’ll see me here at Starbucks before my interview. Blast it, of all the luck I can get! Good thing, he left Starbucks first which gave me a chance to do my quick escape as well.
As I descended up to the second to the last floor of Raffles, I was a mess. Don’t get me wrong. I wore my smartest attire and by all means, I felt really smart but my heart was pounding so fast. I was finally called in and dun dun dun, yep he’s the one at Starbucks. But something happened that moment, I knew that something changed. Gone was my uneasiness and all I felt was the warmth and acceptance that sir Wilson had offered. That was probably the most-fun interview I had up to date because we basically just threw music genres at each other, bragging who had more knowledge about Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema club. All in all, I actually felt that he really liked to hire me on the spot. (He did!) I guess he has that within him, to make people feel important and appreciated. My first day at work was awkward as expected until sir Wilson openly introduced me to everyone as “Si Grace- President ng Owl City Philippines” Whadddup! President here, make way please. I have never felt more proud of myself. And so the days went by and I still can’t believe how much work he has entrusted me considering that I was only an intern. I guess it was also his way of showing how much he believes in the capacity of a person to grow and actually lead. As much as constructive criticisms are vital in work, Sir Wilson always praised my works. Whenever I submitted a write-up or after I announce something over a mic wherein 500+ fans were present, he would always pat me on the back and say “Galing naman Gracecieleen!” I will always remember whenever he handed his Blackberry to me and I was all like “WHAT?!” and he would say “Ikaw na bahala Gracecieleen, galingan mo, pasikatin mo yung event sa twitter” or whenever he handed me his backpack (that includes his wallet and gadgets) cause he needs to attend to an artist. Yaya pala ang peg Haha but who cares? This man trusted me and showed it to me upfront.
Accck, my heart is tearing up whenever I look back to that summer because up to date, he has always been my image of “the best boss” — who acknowledged my strengths as a growing person and who took a leap of faith for me to actually get acquainted with the real world.
My internship ended. He secretly stashed signed Owl City items and handed it to me upon the end of my internship. I cried so hard during the last days of my internship because that only meant that I had to leave the beautiful people who shared so much to me. I gloriously affirm to the world how much I am proud of that internship because I know that I learned from the best.
In my internship and my Owl City life, Sir Wilson was more like a father as much as he is to the other fan clubs he has helped. He always made sure we got the best experience and we were rewarded for what we worked hard for. I remember the second concert. What I didn’t have during the first concert, I had everything during the second concert. I never paid for my tickets and I had more than 20 to spare (thanks to the ever generous MMI family whom I also love so dearly) but it was born from the fact that our fan-base was already established and greatly contributing to the preparations for the concert. And when I ask, it all still comes down to what MCA Music Inc has done for us to be there. I remember talking to sir Wilson days before the concert wherein he was about to secretly hand me concert tickets once again. I was deeply touched and grateful but I proudly told him “I already have one sir and I am meeting him too and it’s all because of MCA.” He was proud of me, I knew it the moment he grinned at me.
Days have passed since sir Wilson left this world and I know that he is a legend.I am deeply sad and heartbroken for his family, colleagues and friends because I know the world lost someone wonderful but I am taking comfort in the idea that he is always to be remembered and cherished with that genuine smile of a good hearted man.
So, I am seeing Owl City again in a few days and I am getting nervous by the minute. Sir Wilson always had cheered me on.. I know it’s silly but I only had sir Wilson to talk to whenever I expressed the fact that I have a dream of bringing Owl City here one day. He told me that he would help me and I NEVER questioned that. I also know that he believes in me and that one day I will. I know that in my heart is planted the trust and confidence of someone who believes in me and that maybe one day, I can bring him here. I will try my best, sir Wilson. No pressure ha. Haha ☺
But as I look back and look at it today, I might have never had all of this without him and I know I am just one the many fans that he has helped but I wanted the world to know how much he has shared to me over the past two years. I mean come on, I am rubbing elbows (I THINK!!HAHA) with Owl City’s manager (the real one!) and there’s only one person to blame…
I could never thank you enough sir Wilson, for all that have you shared not only to me but to the rest of the world touched by you. You were my true ‘idol’ if you put it that way. You inspired me and just showed me that there’s nothing impossible if you dream, believe hard and work harder. My sincerest admiration is upon you.
I dunno how Taylor Swift seems to know what to write in her songs. That girl is beyond brilliant and articulate. I am not a devoted Swifty but I can gather all the appreciation in the world and sprinkle it unto her with lovely little rainbows, twinkly stars and I wouldn’t even feel gay about […]
I should have faced you with a brave and steady heart. I should have taken you when you were wholeheartedly given to me in generous servings.
I know that it’s entirely my fault for being too afraid, too safe. What you had for me were stacks of experiences that I know to myself is a map to what I want to be, what I have always dreamt of being. I am sorry I shoved you away for something so physical and temporary. Look at me now then, I am but a product of the norms of what society can give me –thriving in a place where I am forced to do for the sake of doing it.
I am sorry.
I should have jumped off that cliff with you. I only then knew that you would also risk everything for me – alongside with a jar of trust, confidence and assurance filled to the brim.
I am so sorry I lost you and may have lost the battle for now. But know that in my heart, I will find you –I am weaving my way through you and one day we will sail through greater skylines. Together, we will jump.
I will see you soon.
Let me know if you figured my post out. This is a response to the Daily Prompt today.