Life always works out.

I read a post from wholesome-suggestion on Tumblr:

“Life works out. I cannot stress this enough. It always turns out in your favor even if it doesnt go according to the original plan. You may be utterly confused and lost right now, it may feel like everything is falling apart and there is nothing you can do to salvage any of it. But believe me when I say that this is just a transition period. Things are constantly changing and evolving around you even if you can’t actively see that. Life is changing you to prepare you for what is to come. You are growing and as you grow, you are being built into the person that you are going to be. Because see, life always has this funny way of working out.”

There are a lot of moments this year wherein I felt ‘Ohmygosh. How am I gonna get through this? I can’t see the end!’

But today, here, I am like, “I made it.” Life really did work out. What I thought was impossible to do, I did and I passed by it.

And everyday, I continue to surprise myself. When I looked at the things I need to accomplish for the day, I will be like, “Omy. How am I gonna accomplish this?” But again, I reminded myself to just think about this hour or minute that I am right now and do my best to have some progress. I never know what may happen by the end of the day but what I’m gonna do right now is focus on the now. Somehow, I made it.

Today, I did something I thought was scary. Well, it is. But I’m just so glad that it was now done.

Tomorrow, I’ll be facing another one but that’s for tomorrow to worry about. Right now, I’ve got the present.

Its hard to go by everyday, hence, Neil Gaiman answered, when asked how do we get through these dark times?, “One day at a time. Sometimes a minute at a time.”

Dealing with this current minute I am in makes the whole thing bearable. The only responsibility that I have right now is the present and I’ll do my best to stay on it and live.

Casual Magic

Mary Oliver:

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Around a week ago, I moved into a new bed and that bed is positioned where you can soak in the first rays of the sun every morning.

I noticed that and since then, I get excited at seeing sunlight every morning. I tried grasping it as if it was something tangible.

Lately I have been thinking why am I taking this granted for years. But then again, I think it means that I am growing. Appreciating the environment I am in right now is a reminder that I am growing.

Even though this may seem mundane, I believe this is a casual magic of my everyday. Casual magic is a term , from the youtuber Unjaded Jade, which means finding magic in the mundane. It can be as simple as cooking meals for your family or cleaning your room after weeks of putting off your tasklist.

Everyday is not your birthday or Christmas. But you can treat it like one. There are research findings that says that when you are younger, you find ‘extraordinary’ things fun (ex. concerts, birthday parties, roadtrips) but as you get older, you started to feel joy out of the ‘ordinary’ things (ex. talking to a friend over the phone). And what bridges the gap through the ages is how you frame your life.

For instance, I may be young but I am not usually into parties or roadtrips (because of financial reasons). However, that doesn’t make me feel sad at all. I believe that they are just not something that I would like to do, hence, what I do is I continue to do things that bring me joy (ex. I read a book, spend time with my family, write a journal, etc).

And framing your life is certainly essential to how your attitude will be.

I got rejected so many times for various job applications this year and yes, I still feel joy in my life regardless and I think its because of how I framed it.

I have no job and it means I have more time to follow my curiosity, learn what I want to learn, and partake in volunteering opportunities. I would neither have learned what I learned nor read the books that I had read if I was accepted to a job during this pandemic.

The whole idea is amor fati, which means loving everything that happens (yes, even the bad ones). Though it could have been different but it’s in the past and I learned from it.

Again, today I saw the first shine of the sun. Everytime I see it, it gives me hope. Today is a new day to live, to see magic in the mundane, to forgive, to love, and to do. This is my casual magic.

What’s yours?

Gap Year Stories: September—Fourth Month

Wow. I’m in fourth month already?? Time seems incredibly fast. But if I looked back in what I did the past few months through my logbook, it seemed like it was not. The days are awfully long.

This month was rough but today, on its last day, I am just this happy gal looking back on how hard I worked the past few weeks. One thing that this month has taught me is do what I love. I mean it. This month, I literally just did what I wanted without following any specific path or what was expected of me. I followed my guts and intuition for the whole month and I had never felt so happy.

I wrote short stories and honestly this is a HUGE achievement for me. Few years ago, I started writing a novel but I discontinued it partly because I just can’t finish it. But right now, I just wanted to write. Hence, I started writing short stories. I did not feel any pressure at all whether its supposed to be loved or fit in a certain standard. The fact that I had completed something that I love to do is the reward for me.

I went on to write the article that I am afraid of the most. I have a one-month internship from June-July (then you can choose to extend for a month if you’d like) at MakeSense, an international organization that focuses on putting together individuals, organizations, and companies for projects related to social good. The first month of internship was stressful for me. It was the very first time I will be writing in such a big platform– this scared me ths most.

Considering how it brought so much stress into my life, I opted to not extend my internship for another month. But then came, this idea of writing an article that focuses on human-centered prisons and why the Philippines should built it.

Since one of my mantras is to not self-reject and feeling this need of sharing what I know and I am fascinated about, I extended again for another month. Honestly, it stressed me out a lot. I kept thinking that I do not have a lot of experience, I’m not qualified, I may even be called out because I know too little of the subject but even with all of those thoughts, I am grateful that I trusted myself. Also, I did not reject myself.

The idea actually started out as a seed. Around April 2020, I got curious on how human-centered prisons are different from the “regular” prisons and that is where I started researching about it. Fast forward to September, I interviewed Ar. Dominique Cruz, an architect, and Mr. Marco Toral, former consultant of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, about their thoughts on how can we create a friendlier and humane prison environment for inmates. Honestly, writing about the whole article about human-centered prisons made me decide to advocate for building more humane environments for people deprived of liberty. I had gotten so many perspectives and that all would not happen if I decided to reject myself in the first place. So… do what you love to do even if it feels scary. Run to the roar. Trust your curiousity, instincts, and desires.

Since I became a feature editor for our school paper, I wrote more than ten feature articles this month. I learned so much from interviewing various students in our College as well as from proofreading the articles of other feature writers.

I remembered how I stuttered so much during an interview with the one I will feature during the first week of September. I cringed so much while listening to the recording. However, from that experience, I became aware of the areas where I need to improve. That interview improved me so much. Although it was an awful experience, it is the very thing that I am grateful for. After that interview, I interviewed eight more students in the following days. Guess what? The seventh one actually told me that she felt comfortable talking with me throughout the interview. She expected herself that she will be nervous but she claimed, I did not make her feel that way. To more learnings hehe.

Also, I just am grateful to everyone who is reading my posts. This month, I had more than a hundred views and I just want to say that I am grateful for each and everyone of you. I hope you are doing what you love ❤.

Lastly, since next month, October, is the start of my classes. I want to bring back something that I wrote during June—first month of gap year:

Having this idea that I’m on ‘gap year’ even though I take classes online for uni makes me feel that I could learn and initiate passion projects as much as I want to without caring about uni at all. Hence, I started gap year last June 2020. My classes will start by August but it does not matter to me at all. I’m just thinking of it as a responsibility that I should do but not that significant at all.

My main priority for this gap year is to grow so much– to learn more about myself, learn more about the world, and leaving things better than when I found them.

I went back to this because I want to remember why I started and, hopefully, I would not get carried away by university requirements.

With all of these adventures from following my inner soul, may I always continue and remember to be human. To be human is to be alive. (Oscar Wilde: To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.)

I have no expectations for October. But what I have and what I armed myself with are stories. The stories that inspire me, that made me grow, that made me realize things, and most importantly, that made me see the beauty in life.

I may not have expectations but what I do have is anticipation. I am truly excited on what October holds. I am excited on how will I spend the 24 hours given to me tomorrow and the next day, and day after that, until the end. Also, I find it easier to move and do something if I think about what can I do for this 24 hours, instead of worrying about the future. Worrying about the future made me feel stuck like I should not even do anything at all because it would not matter anyway, you are late, and you cannot do anything. Whereas if I thunk about what the most beautiful thing that I can do in this 24 hours, I could think of a thing, if I would be very happy just doing that and accomplishing it throughout the day. And this is where I will leave, what is the most beautiful thing that I can do in this 24 hours?

Do it. Accomplish it. And congratulations, you just created something that will improve all your tomorrows.

Eckhart Tolle: Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make now the primary focus of your life.


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(If you are new to my blog, hi! yes, I’m taking a gap year while still enrolled in a university. I just want to instill the idea to myself so that I can focus on doing what I love and following my curiousities. Though it is not really what gap year means, but given that I have so much time because during normal uni setting I have to spend four hours in commuting, and a lot of hours waiting for professors in classrooms, I have a lot of time to spend. Hence, I instilled the idea to myself that I am on a gap year and I’ll focus less on my university and instead, follow my instincts. Watch out for more adventures and stories!)

Run to the Roar

These past few months, I kept running to the roar. My stomach clenching and heart pounding. I very well know for sure that I am afraid during those times and I am still afraid now. Regardless of how afraid I am, I still run to the roar.

Tina Essmaker said, “When you are thinking about doing something and it feels scary, when it feels like this big lion is waiting at the finish line and he’s roaring and he’s ferocious and he’s going to tear you apart… you should just run toward that lion anyway. Run to the roar.

In retrospect, all the things that I did were scary when I haven’t started them yet. But two things that I learned,

1. Do not reject yourself.

There is this expression inside you that originate from the experiences and things that you consume. And since you are the only one of you at a lifetime, this expression, hence, is unique. No one has lived in the same way as you and that what’s make your expression unique. Your job is to share it with the world and not to limit yourself with the beliefs like not enough experience, not enough time not enough audience, etc.

2. Continue to follow your hobbies, interests, and desires for the sake of learning. Have faith that by following them, you will get closer to the person you need to be.

Its not really about winning at doing things but rather doing them because you want to learn, because it brings you joy. Yes. It is scary. But remember that you are not doing it for anyone, you are doing it for you.

That is the two things that I have in my mind these past few months. And I hope you got something from it.

Growing

After interviewing another student from my college for a feature article, I asked for feedback like I always do and her answer was this:

“Wala naman akong problema. I felt comfortable while doing the interview. Hindi nga ako kinakabahan eh.” (Eng trans: I don’t have any problem while doing the interview. I felt comfortable while doing the interview. I was never even nervous at all.)

Honestly, that is a huge compliment for me. During my very first interviews for a feature article as well, I got a feedback that wasn’t exacty a compliment but rather a call for me to grow and I am grateful that he is honest with me and for that, my future interviewees wouldn’t have to suffer so much because of my nervousness and inexperience.

I have so much more to learn with regards to how to listen well and converse effectively but such small compliments (small successes) gives me further strength to continue.

Just a few days ago, I experienced the feeling of “everything’s futile” again. And somehow, I think its related to my constant hustling these past few weeks. And I need to re-balance my self again. And I found this writings by one of my favorite youtuber, Dinara:

With that, I wanted to start my everyday with gratitudes. Letting the universe hear my thoughts and what I am grateful for.

I can feel that I am growing in many avenues of my life. But I want to teach myself to not get attached to some imaginary ladder that I need to achieve to be happy.

Small things matter the most. I interview various people and write down their narratives because I love to write a lot and read a lot. I enjoy writing as well as reading so much. And it feels me up with joy knowing that I am doing something that I love everyday.

I hope that stays. I hope that for the rest of my life. I keep choosing what I enjoy, what makes me grow, and what I love.

As a kid, I just enjoy what I love. When I was younger, my father had me take Kumon worksheets but as I grow older, I realize that solving Math problems isn’t what I am interested in. Hence, my younger self fought to do what she loves: reading.

I hope as I grow older, I will never forget that. I will never forget that as a kid, I chose to do something that brings me joy instead of doing something that people perceive as “will get you into a nice university or will land you in a nice job” but you do not actually enjoy.

I hope I will always remember to be alive. And to be alive means asking yourself: what makes me come alive? What is something that kept me going? And do it. Do it with my very best. The world needs people who are alive.

Like the Little Prince, I hope I will not forget. And I hope you too.

Do more of what brings you joy

I just finished The Lorien Legacies (7 books). For me, its one of those books that you can’t put down.

After reading the last book, I stopped and feel. I let myself feel the exhilaration knowing that a book is finished. I just finished reading their story. Now, I can put them down to rest.

You know what?

I’ve read The Lorien Legacies a few years ago but I just discontinued it because as much as I enjoy it so much, the reviews I read in Goodreads make me feel like I’m the most stupid person for reading the book. Hence, I stopped.

Fast forward to now, The Lorien Legacies crossed my mind when I’m thinking of what makes me happy.

I realized that I should not let other people’s opinions stop me from doing what I am interested in and what gives me joy. For every day in my life, I should choose to do the things that makes me happy. For then, I will truly be able to say, that I have lived well.

Doing things that give you joy makes you alive. Honestly, what the world needs right now are people who are alive.

Hence, I continued reading the books of The Lorien Legacies, starting from the beginning because I forgot all the details. And I have never been so joyful in my life. And I continue to live like this, just doing what I enjoy, letting my interests, curiousities, and desires lead the way.

And before I decided to just do it– to just do the things that I enjoy. Here is what I read, this post is from wyattwesleywriting on Tumblr:

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to read Harry Potter. Someone in my class told me I couldn’t because it wasn’t in my level and I wouldn’t understand it. I read Harry Potter just to spite him. I’ve reread it a million times, it’s one of my favourites. I realised after reread and reread that I didn’t understand it in fourth grade.

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to read the classics. I read the Bell Jar, Red Badge of Courage, Shakespeare, and as many as I could find. I couldn’t tell you what they said. But I looked like I could read at a higher level than I could. I read the same books and plays in high school. They made sense, I enjoyed them, I read them not to prove something but because I wanted to.

When I was in eighth grade, I only read murder mysteries and criminal books. That’s what more advanced readers read. I wanted to prove that I could read as well as someone twice, three times my age. I enjoyed them, but it was because I was proving something.

When I was in college I reread the series of unfortunate events. I loved every single book, every single line. I’d forgotten what it was like to read a book because I wanted to. I read young adult novels more than anything because I like them. I don’t care that they’re below my level, that they’re ‘too’ young for me. I don’t care that people see me reading them.

I realised something. I was taught to read because I needed to. Intelligent people read, that’s how people become smart. Reading isn’t a waste of time like television. I wasn’t taught to love to read. No one is. I found a love of reading by giving up the idea that people gave a shit if I read or not. I enjoy it more than I should. I realised that instead of instilling the idea of doing something because it’s expected or because someone should do something, instill the idea of doing something because you want to. Instill the idea that happiness comes from what we choose, not what others have chosen for us.

I realised that when I’m happiest, when I have the most joy, it’s when I do something for me. It’s when there are no expectations, no drive to prove someone wrong. I realised that my happiest when all inhibitions and perceptions are gone. Maybe that’s how we should enjoy our hobbies.

I can’t stress this enough: DO THINGS THAT BRINGS YOU JOY.

I read that from someone a long time ago but when I read that, it just felt weird. Like I know I’m supposed to do things that gives me joy but why am I not doing it?

I want christmas lights on my room all year long and not just during the holidays because for me, lights have something magical in them. So why am I not doing it?

I do not enjoy scrolling on socmed so much but why do I continue doing it?

When I started to become aware of these things, I started taking more proactive actions on doing more of the things I want and I enjoy doing.

For me, reading sci-fi and fantasy books are one of the things that makes me happy. Whenever I find a good read, I can stay in one place for a couple hours and just get lost in the character’s thoughts. For me, reading is similar to play.

Experts are now redesigning their office systems and spaces to make it more conducive to play. Play is any activity that gives you joy and has no result. The results are only intangible– it improves your overall well-being. Hence, since the result is not tangible, people denote it as unimportant. But play overall helps you to be present.

Most adult spend time worrying about their mistakes and responsibilities. But with play, you get to be here. In here, this moment right now. And that is exactly what reading does to me.

I know, most of us (if not all) are suffering. But may you continue to play, to do the things that you enjoy regardless of what people perceive of it. What is important is what you feel about it.

By choosing to do more play or to do more of the things you enjoy, I am not encouraging you to go on “toxic positivity” but its more of, taking a break from ruminating. And instead, be in the now. Focus on the now. Focus on this hour asking ‘What can I do for this hour that would give me joy?’ or ‘What is the most beautiful thing that I can make?’

Almost two years ago when I cried to my friend after sharing something with her, and I remember how she replied, “Ate, ang importante ginagawa mo kung ano ang nagpapasaya sa ‘yo. Siyempre hindi nila maiintindihan ‘yan kasi hindi naman sila ikaw eh. Ang importante masaya ka. (What is important is that you are doing what makes you happy. Of course, they might not understand because they are not you. At the end, what is important is that you are happy.)” Also, I do not remember why I was crying at that time but I clearly remember that I am crying because I felt like no one understands.

A few years back, my dad pushed me to Kumon. At first, I was okay with it. Believe me, I am able to understand Math pretty well because of Kumon but I just wasn’t happy doing it. My dad forced me to do complete Kumon but I just don’t want it. I do not enjoy doing it. I always go for reading.

When my dad saw it, that doing math worksheets just do not make me happy at all. And he saw how much I love reading, he just let it go. He probably saw that I am old enough to do the things that i wanted and I should learn how to follow my interests instead of forcing me to do what he wanted.

Do more of what you enjoy. I am rooting for you.

“It is your Rose.” the fox says.

In the Little Prince, “But it is not any common rose,” the fox says. “It is your Rose.”

I love to think that the “rose” is a metaphor for the things we love and we create. To me, my journals are where I keep my history and the history of the environment around me. But to others, it may just be any notebook out there,

This just to show how each of us is vastly different from each other. We cannot shame people for liking something we do not like and vice versa. Let people enjoy things.

In the Little Prince, the Little Prince asked the fox if they can play but the fox replied that he is not tamed. Then, the Little Prince asked what is tamed. The fox answered that it means to build a relationship or to need each other.

To the Little Prince, the fox is just like the 100,000 other foxes out there. To the fox, the Little Prince is just like the 100,000 other boys out there. But if they choose to build a relationship or to “need” each other, they become unique in each other’s worlds. Both the Little Prince and the Fox became each other friends. And their journey would never be the same.

To you, I may just be like any other person out there. To me, you may just be like any other person out there too. But then, I decided to write this and you chose to read this. What I create is now on your mind and will become a part of your journey. Everything that will happen from now on is affected and influenced by our actions and nothing will ever be the same again.

Reading to Improve Work

Novelist Jennifer Egan stated in an interview, “Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work.”

All of my blog posts and projects are based on everything that I read. I read the books recommended by artists that I look up to in order to understand how they come up with their works.

I’ll take this time to recommend articles that I believe are worth reading and worth the time:

  • 19 Great Truths My Grandmother Told Me on Her 90th Birthday

The willingness to do hard things opens great windows of opportunity. – One of the most important abilities you can develop in life is the willingness to accept and grow through times of difficulty and discomfort.  Because the best things are often hard to come by, at least initially.  And if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you’ll miss out on them entirely. Marc & Angel. (https://www.marcandangel.com/2018/03/25/19-great-truths-my-grandmother-told-me-on-her-90th-birthday/)

  • The 15-Minute Routine Anthony Trollope Used to Write 40+ Books

“It had at this time become my custom,—and is still my custom, though of late I have become a little lenient of myself—to write with my watch before me, and to require of myself 250 words every quarter of an hour…

This division of time allowed me to produce over ten pages of an ordinary novel volume a day, and if kept up through ten months, would have given as its results three novels of three volumes each in the year…” —Anthony Trollope. James Clear. (https://jamesclear.com/anthony-trollope)

  • Shonda Rhimes ’91 Delivers a Lesson-Packed Commencement Address

Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just … do. So you think, “I wish I could travel.” Great. Sell your crappy car, buy a ticket to Bangkok, and go. Right now. I’m serious.

You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. Darthmouth College. (https://250.dartmouth.edu/highlights/shonda-rhimes-91-delivers-lesson-packed-commencement-address)

  • The Case For Letting Kids Design Their Own Play

In the same way that some girls like to build things, climb trees, and poke dead things, some boys want to play house, wear pink, and avoid mud. Boys should be encouraged to wear pink tutus. Girls should be encouraged to use hammers. Performing gender, class, race, and careers is the beginning of learning empathy. More specifically, through open-ended play they have the agency to understand their identity as their own to invent and define.

When children have agency in their play, they learn to have agency in their lives. The instructions we should give to children? Don’t wait for someone to tell you who and what to be–jump in and figure it out. Fast Company. (https://www.fastcompany.com/3048508/the-case-for-letting-kids-design-their-own-play)

I hope by reading these articles, we can produce even better works. Let us continue learning, growing, and improving. Author James Clear wrote, “You choose the future with your actions each day.

Empathy in Design

Last June, I was looking for products and spaces that empathizes with its users. I want to study a lot of them myself because designing is what I want to do. Surprisingly, there isn’t a site dedicated to that certain topic. There is a lot of architecture, industrial design, and interior design blogs and websites but in this era of information overload, I think specializing content is great to easily share the content that you want to see and read online.
I discover more and more every day how a lot of things are designed just for the sake of it and not out of observing its users. Fortunately, there are people who observe their users before designing which led to positive changes to the behavior of its users.
I had launched the Empathy In Design Blog (see here: https://empathyindesign.wordpress.com/) last July 1, 2020. I post every other day. Currently, I am practicing how to write it in a story-telling way rather than an article full of facts. I believe that architecture, spaces, and products that empathizes with people should be celebrated. I observed in the design world that, sometimes, designers had reduced its users (humans) to merely numbers.
One time, the thought of ‘What if I cannot research any content anymore? What will I write?’ came to my mind. However, I tell myself that ‘that’ problem is for my tomorrow’s self to worry about. Right now, there is still a lot of good designs to share and write about.
In my posts in Empathy in Design, I wrote it in an angle of how did these designs improved the lives of their users, how did they matter, and how did the made a difference. As Mark Meily stated in his talk Experience Design, “The role of the designers is to improve how one sees the world.”
I noticed how my memory improved in remembering all the good designs that I had written. Plus, I am able to understand better how the designer gets to the outcome through constantly recalling it, writing, and researching about it. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear wrote “The act of making something will force you to learn more deeply than reading ever will.” As my knowledge of design goes deeper through digesting and crafting case studies, I am able to create connections– there are some questions that I had in certain design work but I got the answer for it from a different work.
My whys for this project is to spread good designs, to put all of them in one blog, and share it in a way that readers can empathize with as well and apply it to their life. Plus, if someone searches ‘Empathy in Design’ in the google search bar, they would not be disappointed or be discouraged because they had found nothing, but they will get excited once they see that a blog is dedicated solely for designs that empathize with humans.
Storing all of this information in my design notebook is a waste because only I can benefit from it.

The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only harmful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. – Annie Dillard

It’s more than a month since I committed to researching content and I find joy in reading and crafting stories of how these designers design for humans. I am really looking forward to every day and what more stories of good designs will I read and share. Umberto Eco said, “To survive, you must tell stories.”

No Student Left Behind

As of July 17, more than six million basic education students had not yet enrolled for the school year 2020-2021 in the Philippines and it is alarming. (Source: https://rappler.com/nation/millions-fail-to-enroll-elementary-high-schools-philippines-2020-2021)

The Department of Education had assured the public that there is no need for gadgets for their children to enroll because they created another option wherein students without gadgets and internet connectivity can still study through the printed materials that will be delivered to their house or respective Barangay officials.

However, here is another problem. Our neighbors stopped their son to go to school this school year– not because of the lack of gadgets and internet connectivity– because no one will teach him at home. With the printed materials option, students are expected to learn the learning materials on their own or with the help of a family member. Our neighbors chose to stop their son from schooling this year rather than letting him enroll and will probably not learn anything.

This can be a problem for a lot of Filipino families in the lower socioeconomic sector. There might be math problems, science concepts, or even English words that parents cannot explain to their children due to being unable to finish basic education themselves because they had to work early to support their families. In the Philippines, in public high school learning materials, all subjects are in the English language except for Filipino, History, and Values subjects.

When I was younger, my father forced me to read books in English. I used the word forced because I never really liked reading back then. I’m merely doing it because my father told me to.

Eventually, I grew to love reading. I started reading a lot that my father never had to remind me that I should be reading, instead of watching television. Through constantly reading, I got better at reading comprehension in the English language during my basic education years that I did not require a lot of help from my parents to explain to me something.

Moreover, the books that I read when I was younger helped me a lot, was from my dad. My dad saves up the small amount of money he can save every day and buys a new book for us. As I grew up, I realized that I was privileged during that time. Back then, my dad still has money to save while other families do not have and not because they aren’t disciplined. For a lot of Filipino families, they have to live for the current day. The money that they earn for this day is all used up for this day only– food, school supplies, utilities. Most of the time, it isn’t even enough.

During my basic education in a local public high school, I continue to discover how my privilege in reading significantly affected my studies. I observed that most of my classmates struggle in comprehending subject materials that are in English because they did not have a strong foundation of English. And it is not their fault. They just did not have a lot of opportunities to learn English.

I can understand and comprehend materials in English today and that is because of my privilege. Some students do not have the same privilege as I had. They need a teacher to guide them to understand and that is not easy if they do not have internet connectivity or even a gadget to attend online classes. What if their parents or anyone in their household cannot teach them? What will happen?

If the officials from the Department of Education had already seen this problem, and still chose to continue the current school year then they are okay with some students being left behind. They chose to open the school year just for the sake of opening it.

Education should not only be for the privileged. Education is a right. I know that school is not the only way where one could get an education. Trust me, I know that. But, for most people, it is a good place to start learning and be educated. Hence, I still believe that school is important.

With a country led mostly by officials who seem to not show any empathy for the poor and underprivileged, we should collectively speak up, together with the marginalized, so that higher officials up there will notice.

#AcademicFreezeNOW

#NoStudentLeftBehind

Right now, the Department of Education is still going for the upcoming school year. And a lot of public high schools are asking for bond paper ream donations (shows that the DepEd will not give them any budget for printing). These papers will be used for printing subject materials that will be distributed to their students this upcoming August 2020.

You can send bond paper donations at San Mateo Senior High School. You can message them at their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sanmateoshs/

This post is not to shame anyone who will partake in online classes. If you can take online classes, then do. This is for the people who can’t. It is neither their fault nor yours. I just hope that we cared for them more.