#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



When The Decent Guy Called It Quits


Throbbing in my ears, loud music from the nearby bar made it hard for me to hear what you were saying. Quits? Hah. Then I, a non-drinker, cautiously chugged a glass of beer and looked at the direction where an EDM is playing. There, I saw people laughing and enjoying the night.

That’s what I came for, I thought.

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Nang Isang Araw Ako’y Naligaw

Minsan ako’y naligaw sa isang lansangan / kung saan di ko mawari ang paroroonan

Sa dulong kanto, nag-abang ng masasakyan / ngunit mga tao’y naghahagikgikan

Tila may nakakat’wang kaganapan / di naman napigilang tingnan

Hayun ang babae, pinagpala ng kagandahan / subalit ang gayak ay purong narungisan

Di muna ako lumisan at siya’y  aking kinilatis / nakita kong siya’y lubhang tumatangis

Akin siyang nilapitan, alingasaw niya’y tiniis / kinuha ang panyo, luha at dumi’y inalis

Dumami na rin ang mga tao, ako’y naiinis / pagkat pinababayaan lamang sila ng mga pulis

Rinig ko ang kanilang mga usapan at tsismis / amin nang nilisan ang lugar ng mabilis

Sa isang malapit na carinderia kami’y naupo / ang babaeng ito ay tila nahahapo

May dinukot siya mula sa kanyang buslo / isang salamin at suklay pampagwapo

Aking tinanong, “anong pangalan mo?” / pero di siya sumagot at tinuro lang ako

Nagtataka man, nagpakilala akong ‘Alfredo’ / sa malalim na boses, siya’y tumugon, “ako rin si Alfredo.”

Donna, the daydreamer



As cliche as this sounds, my question to the universe;

“Why would fate bring two people together at the right place at right time only to be drifted apart in the end?”

Then again, as cliche as this sounds, the simplest answer to it is;

“They were destined to meet but they’re not the right person for each other.”

Although you may not still get it, you just have to accept that that’s the way things are. It may not go your way but one thing’s for sure, you learn something. And I guess, figuring out that “something” requires moving on and continuing with life. It could be fate’s lesson to them that some stories better begin with an ending. Oh, the irony.

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I like dawns. I like the time between the night and day. I like how sunrise begins with a dark sky that soon brings a bright morning. It somehow makes me hope for a new perspective, that a daybreak carries a blank slate, and that yesterday’s mistakes and challenges don’t matter anymore. You have the power to make up for them and continue to move forward. The fulfillment of getting up and saving yourself takes courage and strength. Nothing else matters than rescuing yourself from drowning in an ocean. No one else can savage you but yourself.

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