#PUSO: A Short Letter to the Cohort

2017 CohortA_10.jpg

A week has passed since the Summer Institute of Teach for the Philippines ended. Sepanx is creeping in (hence this post) and I’m just gonna lay it all out now:

To the 36 strongest and most passionate people I ever knew,

You’re nuts.

I mean, who in their right mind would take on this challenge and still believe that the education system in our country would change? You’re a bit crazy to commit yourselves and be part of TFP’s advocacy. It could have been a scam or a hoax, and yet you showed faith.

And while you are not in your right mind, I know for sure that you are in your right heart to put your strength and dedication to something as big as this. Ambiguity is the way we’re going but your love is certain enough to conquer this. #PUSO

For the past two months, everytime I see you, you all radiate passion and perseverance. There were times you wanted to give up but still you continued to pour your heart out. It is so ironic how one day you are crying and wanting to quit, then the next day I see you teaching in your classes all so energetic and enthusiastic. You keep on saying things like, “I can’t go on”, “I’m going home” and yet you finished stronger and more resilient than ever before.

And while I was with you in all these events, I too, became nuts.

The two years will be more challenging than what we had for two weeks. When reality hits (and it’ll be on June 5!!!), I know you will still complain about making LP’s and establishing classroom management. It’ll be totally different and difficult more so because no one will be guiding you. But you always have the whole cohort who supports and encourages you every step of the way. We’ve created a bond so solid that even our PTM’s call us clingy (well, we don’t care hahaha).

As you go start your own journey, remember your “why”. After all, you’re doing this #ParaSaBata at #ParaSaBayan. You do it for them. Because whatever you do, you’re already a change maker. So make that change visible and possible for the Filipino children.

Lastly, self-care! You are on your own. You are your best IM. One day sick leave is equivalent to one day of no learning for the kids. You gotta take care of yourself to take care of others as well.

Padayon, Cohort 2017!

All smiles,

Donna, the daydreamer

PS. This also serves as my personal reminder huhu

Photo: © Sarah Co



Surround yourself with great people

Three weeks ago, forty people committed themselves to something big and scary – an understatement – that will change their lives (and the country, too!) They became friends, colleagues, and siblings who will continue to learn from each other and work hand in hand to achieve one goal. Each has their own “why”; but ultimately creates one voice.

They are all unique and special. There’s a gun owner, a board topnotcher, a SpEd teacher, a statistician, a social worker, etc. Some hold a degree in Filipino, Biology, Political Science, Mathematics, Speech Communication, Psychology, Asian Studies, and even Philippine Arts. Never in my wildest dreams that I would be in the same room with these people who have been and will continue to be great in their own ways.

Being with them is my life’s greatest present at the moment. I am learning a lot from their stories, experiences, and lessons. The things they share make me see the world in a different perspective. And it’s only been three weeks; how much more in the coming months that we’ll be together? I am very excited for what’s ahead of us!!!

All smiles,

Donna, the daydreamer

Rain & Comfort

Pluviophile (n.) a lover of rain; someone who finds comfort and joy during rainy days

The weather’s not taming here in the Philippines. For a month now, the southwest monsoon has been bringing heavy rains and fairly strong winds all over the country. It doesn’t help that typhoons are coming week by week. There are days that the sun shows up but it has no assurance to stay (you know, similar to people #hugot). Some are exasperated with the inconvenience it creates (e.g. heavier traffic, floods, and flu) and some, including me, are ecstatic for the good bed weather.

Well, nothing beats comfortably lying on bed with clean sheets while you’re wearing your favorite pajamas, reading a good book, sipping a cup of hot choco topped with marshmallows, and hearing raindrops outside your window. The cold winds, dark atmosphere, and chilly mood just catches you snuggling and tucking in your blankets. Simply thinking of it calms my nerves and makes me feel at peace.

Oh, and if you have time, please listen to Yiruma’s Kiss the Rain, rainy mood version. Thanks!

All smiles,

Donna, the daydreamer

Retrospect: 2015


A lot has happened in 2015 that really made an impact in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m a more successful person now but I can admit that I’ve become more of an ‘achiever’ today. “Achiever” in the sense that I became much determined and motivated with everything I do. Although I have a lot to learn, it makes me feel proud with what I have reached at my pace right now.

Warning: Long post ahead!