Thursday, February 02, 2023

I guess my mission's not yet over


The 38th IFATCA Asia and Pacific Regional Meeting was held last October 20-22, 2022, in Cebu City, Philippines. This is the first time for PATCA (Philippine Air Traffic Controllers' Association) to host an international event. Also, this is the first face-to-face conference/meeting since the APRM in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2019. At that time, travel restrictions were eased in most countries.

We barely had three months to prepare since the travel restrictions weren't proactive. It was indeed a gargantuan undertaking for us! While on duty, my colleague approached me and asked if I wanted to host the 3-day program. I did not hesitate and said 'yes' at first, thinking that was my only contribution to PATCA (later, I had too many tasks for the event, but I ain't complaining). They also asked Katrine to be my co-host for two days, which is also a good thing since she's one of my close friends in the office. Communication and coordination won't be a problem for both of us.

I never felt nervous and anxious until two weeks before the program. While Kat and I were finalizing our script, it finally hit me. I was starting to regret it. Firstly, I NEVER hosted a formal program in my ENTIRE LIFE (parties not included), and secondly, talking in front of an audience frightens me. But I told myself this is just a challenge, and I had Kat with me. I am not alone in this ordeal since she felt the same thing.

The first day of the program was nerve-wracking, and my hands were shaking during break time. But you know what? As soon as I heard positive remarks from my colleagues, it gave me the strength and confidence to continue my task. The flow of the program wasn't 100% smooth. There were a few minor technical glitches, and as a host, I need to keep the show running while the tech team is busy fixing some things. I need to think fast, and I was also surprised that we pulled it off and even made the audience laugh and highly engaged!

Because of this, I got recognized by some of the people from IFATCA. Today, I am part of the World Communications Committee for Asia and Pacific Region and a facilitator for the IFATCA's Speak English Program. If I didn't say yes to this hosting task, I'd probably be stuck in a rut.

This shows that we grow outside our comfort zone. My heartfelt gratitude to those who supported me in all of my endeavors and those who pushed me hard to strive even better in my craft and skills. Maraming Salamat!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Some updates about my life

I just don’t write something that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know, as much as I’m an optimist, I am leaning towards pragmatism. I don’t give myself false hopes because, at the end of the day, it’ll hurt me so bad. As an air traffic controller for nine years, I have learned how to pre-plan my life, and plan at least ten steps in case shit hits the fan. 

A few days ago, a creative idea just popped out of my awesome brain. Awesome. Yeah right. Anyway, so I was thinking of writing a book. Can you believe it? Well, I am not surprised. When I was in fifth grade, I began writing my novel. It’s a horror-comedy kind of book. It’s all about a family who just moved to a new neighborhood. Like your typical horror-comedy flick, the family lives happily while they settle in their new environment. And all of a sudden, strange things began to unfold. The family had a tomato garden in their backyard. Then their tomatoes started to grow big and began to develop teeth. You already know what happened. It’s morbid. It’s fun. But, I didn’t take the time to finish the book because I don’t know how to end it.

Maybe I just missed writing. Like, writing-without-being-forced-to-write-something kind of thing. Trust me, when you write something creatively, it’s hard especially when you lack inspiration. I honestly can’t picture myself working in a creative industry. My creative juices need to be replenished now and then. The problem is, I need long breaks in between. That can’t be done if I work at an advert company, for example.

Going back to the topic, I am thinking of writing something about my journey as an air traffic controller in the Philippines. You know, it’s my first job, been working for nine years already, and I am feeling sentimental just thinking about it, especially since I am LEAVING the country for good. I honestly don’t care about the reception after publishing it. But the fact that I published a book is already huge. I am also planning to publish my travel stories as well. These dreams are in the pipeline, and I am considering them. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

First Two Weeks

2022 welcomed us with a bang, like literally. For the first few days of the year, I have finally decided to resign from my online job. It's no longer making me happy, and I got burnt out from all those demanding tasks. Almost nine years of being an ATC, I have never experienced this before. Even hearing Slack's notification and the Aussie accent is making me anxious. So, I decided to resign. This job is one of my means to earn more for my show money and tuition fee for my Canadian dream. But no, I was no longer happy. I told my parents about what I was feeling, and they told me not to worry about it because they were willing to help me. For the first time, I felt free! Like a slave unchained from the clutches of his ruthless master!

It was the best decision I have made so far because everyone got tested positive back at my 'real' work, and we lack a workforce. Since the start of the year, I have been working endless hours to meet the minimum shift complement—good thing we are all getting paid for rendering overtime work.


Speaking of which, we had an emergency online meeting in our cluster to discuss the procedures and our work schedule. I have this colleague who is an anti-vaxxer. Instead of discussing the main plan, he kept veering off-topic, like the anti-vaxxer's sentiments and the omicron variant being a 'Mother Nature's natural vaccine.' As the one who previously contracted COVID-19 last year and experienced isolation for 14 days, I lashed out. I was fuming mad because he completely disregarded science and presented dumb facts from conspiracy theories. I have friends who suffered and died from the virus, and I cannot just let it pass through. His sentiments scream injustice. I debunked what he said and left the online meeting after that. I can't stand the blatant ignorance. Every time I see him in the office, I feel indifferent. I don't care, to be honest. I pray that he will only experience mild symptoms if he contracts the virus. Otherwise, he will never get an ounce of pity if everything gets serious. I don't know; thinking of that particular moment makes me fuming mad. Anyway, we need to move on. It's already in the past, and I have to focus on beneficial things and make me happy.

Speaking of the things that make me happy, someone from UFA Technologies interviewed me for a possible job offer. Hours before the interview, I felt nervous because it'll be all over if I screwed this up. Plus, add that Jason speaks highly of me at the office, so imagine the pressure of keeping up with the 'gold standard.' The interview went really well, based on Neil's comments. I hope that this is the sign I've been waiting for. This pathway is better than the international student pathway because I don't need to shell out millions. But, who knows? Either way, I have more options to consider.

Anyway, this is getting long. The first two weeks of 2022 have been crazy. 

Monday, November 01, 2021

Which Path I Should Take?

So, I'm stuck. I don't know which one to take between two post-grad degrees in Toronto. I initially thought of taking Human Resource Management at Humber College (Lakeshore campus) since they have a mandatory work term that could help me land a job for my PGWP and increase my network in Toronto. Also, I am interested in taking the Public Administration post-grad degree at Seneca College (York Campus) since I am a government employee, and I can easily defend this on my student plan. It also has an optional work permit, and the campus is at York University. I guess I have to do more research on which one to take. To be fair, Humber College also offers Public Administration, but it is more expensive at $26,000. We'll see how this goes.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

I Survived!

Last week was just hectic. So, it was on the third week of my online work as a podcast manager. I was still learning about the how-tos of my role, plus I had to attend a two-day seminar about safety management. Do I have a choice? Nope, I didn't. I am the safety officer of my facility, and I have to attend that meeting. But wait, there's more! I have to work four days straight! Like, OMG. I can't believe that I survived. By Friday, I was sleep-deprived, and I was using every ounce of my neurons. Just after logging out at my online work at around 3 PM, my brain was restless. Instead of taking an hour's nap, I searched some stuff on the internet, then went to the gym by 4:20 PM. At sundown, my mind started to shut off. It felt like my brain wasn't there in the first place. I was mentally tired at that time. My close colleagues invited me for dinner at MOA, but I bailed out last minute because I was mentally exhausted. I was too tired to socialize. The mental stress was taking a toll on me. So, at around PM, I slept. The next thing I knew, the sun was already high, and it was bright outside. It was the best 11-hr sleep I have had—much-needed rest.

This week isn't that hectic since I have already done some tasks on my online work, and I don't have online meetings. God, I hate online meetings. Now I know what it feels like to attend online conferences and workshops for days. Zoom fatigue is real! I still have to work four days straight at ATMC but, I have already arranged that since I'm the shift supervisor on all shifts.

Anyway, I am still grateful for this online opportunity because it will help me save more and plan for my finances since I will study in Toronto! I think I'm going to settle at Humber College. I am excited! I am starting to gather my documents, schedule my upfront medical examination early next year, and research international student life in Canada. Wow, this is it! 

PS: I'm back in Makati CBD, and life is better here. I just didn't like BGC.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

A Bold Step

This is it. This. Is. It!

I have finally decided to pursue graduate school in Toronto, Canada. Since 2019, I have been planning to move there and live there for good. Why Toronto? Well, I've always believed that I was meant to be there, that Canada is calling me. I've been gravitating towards the idea of settling there. When I went to Toronto last March 2019, it was love at first sight. No, Toronto may not be the cleanest city in the world, with lots of homeless people lying in the streets I mean, there's no perfect society, right? But I guess while walking around its parks and streets, and riding their streetcars and trains, I see myself working and living in Toronto. That's why in the same year, I applied for an express entry for PR (permanent resident) under the Federal Skilled Worker stream. Unfortunately, my CRS points aren't enough to meet the minimum score. I tried every province in the provincial nomination stream, but for some reason, I didn't receive an invitation from them.

I have to admit that I almost lost hope, but there's still one way to get there, and that is to study there and work after. In that way, I will score higher points for my express entry profile and have a better shot in getting the highly coveted PR. But why think of it today when you had the opportunity in 2019, you might ask? Well, I thought about it but it wasn't worth the shot since I need to study for a year, international students pay three times more than the locals. On average, a one-year graduate certificate costs around $17,000, excluding books and other miscellaneous fees. It doesn't include the monthly living expenses yet. While it's an investment, people are taking their chances since most of the invitations to PR came from the Canadian Experience Class stream, meaning those people who had their post-graduate education and work experience in Canada. They are prioritizing the international students. I believe this will be the trend for the next three years because come to think of it: international students pay more, therefore contributing to the education sector of the country. And after graduation, these students also contribute to the Canadian workforce, which is essential for the Canadian national economy. 

My target date is September 2022. For now, I am researching all the things about applying for a Canadian study permit, the steps I should expect and undertake, and the possible scenarios I would encounter along the way. I am aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park. I know that leaving my promising career in the Philippines is a big risk, but this is the risk that I am willing to take. All for personal growth and learning.

Nothing's going to stop me from reaching my goals. I can do this, with God's grace and perseverance, I shall conquer the world. Yes, I can do this!

Sunday, August 08, 2021


What if we lived in a world that didn't face the global health crisis? Life could've been different. You see, we'd both continue to do our regular work or responsibilities in life. We'd be traveling around the world and continue to tick off our bucket lists. Or perhaps continue living this never-ending cycle of monotony? Maybe in that world, our lives will continue like parallel lines. There is synchronicity. There is a common denominator. The world might feel small, but just like parallel lines, they will never meet.

However, in our realm, everything turned upside down. I thought life would be such a huge mess, not just for me but for everyone else. The world momentarily stopped, and chaos ensued. There was panic. And for the first time, there was uncertainty. It was in these moments where plans didn't go accordingly. But, I just realized that unpredictability comes with excitement. The unplanned outcomes are can either make or break you.

The foxes led me to a fortunate stroke of serendipity. Through these creatures, I had the chance to meet you. I met someone who has a soul so pure, so passionate and dedicated, and so much zest in life. An exchange of simple salutations turned into long late-night conversations. I knew right after our first call there was something special in you.

Every day, I look forward to seeing your name on my phone's notification. I would feel gutted if I missed your calls because I was either at work or sleeping. We laugh at our weird jokes, and we eagerly listened to one another how our day transpired–even talking about the weather of our current cities would last for like an hour. It was too easy to have struck a conversation with you. It felt like I have known you for the longest time. Every day, you always remind me to keep pushing forward to achieve my dreams. You always inspire me to strive for excellence.

I just realized that in our world, there's always a curveball. Somehow, the once parallel lines we used to started to converge. At one point in our lives, we begin to intersect. It is a point where all of the synchronicity, serendipitous events, and coincidences happen. From there, we shall remain at the intersection point, never leaving again as individual lines.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Second Half of 2021

I can't believe we're halfway through with 2021. So, yeah, my Canadian boss decided to take a break from my voiceover job, but I'm hoping that he'll give me projects soon. He told me there's nothing to do about the efforts I made but some of his projects that I'm working on didn't pick up steam. In the meantime, I'm applying for an online translator side gig. I'm currently residing at BGC, another posh district of Manila. I love the environment plus my new housemate is my former schoolmate back in uni so this shouldn't be hard (plus our birthdays are only a week apart, so we share the same attitude HAHA).

Wish me luck! I'll fly back to Davao in three weeks again to have my second dose of vaccine. I'm so excited! Most of my friends have already been vaccinated. My hopes are high.