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written battles

I’m trying to compose a lengthy argument or stand on the Bangsamoro Pact with the MILF (and also to see how much I remember about my International Law and Robles). As I type this, there are hundreds out there who respond in whatever way seems best to them to express their feelings on the latest national issue. There are those who engage in written battles, writing and plugging away on keyboards across the country to communicate and articulate to a cyberspace community their indignation in varying forms. Blogs and online newspapers give access to the most exhaustive and wide-ranging collection of thoughts and one who devotes even just 20 minutes of their time to reading them will have walked away (given the credible source) a more informed and educated citizen. There are those who take it to the streets because to them, there is no other way. They brave the heat, the storms, the continuous silence and evident neglect of the very people they are protesting against –to clamor for change, to call for resignation of this political figure, termination of that policy, explanation for those controversies, action for those abuses, to show disgust, discontent, outrage and to get an answer, any answer or The answer. Then there are those who take arms, who fight it militantly, who oppose it with aggression –to me, an act of cowardice. They take whatever means if only to be heard. For me, it’s this blog. But at the moment, I cannot think properly.

I have a thousand thoughts in my head right now and I don’t know where to start.

I’m thinking about my contract termination a week from now. The job vacancies I’ve applied for, questions and more questions on missions and community development work, where I’m going and what I’m going to do after IOM, the scholarships I want so badly to take, the bills at home I want so badly not to pay, how to look ooh-la-la again tomorrow for work, who to fall in love with next. (fictional book characters FYI!)

It just seems like they all came crashing down today and I have to give attention to all of them, except for the last part. Of course I’m already thinking about what comes next after IOM. And that has been the source of anxiety and disquiet for me this day, even as I mutter the verse “Do not be anxious in anything, but in everything, pray…”

My tasks for Gender Issues are already completed. I have worked on the International Women’s Day Booklet (content and layout) that was distributed in New York and to all UN agencies, and it was translated in French and Arabic. (Thank you, thank you!) I updated the quarterly news bulletin of GIC to a more contemporary look and managed to publish my first bulletin. I have meticulously (and boringly) uploaded and updated our files for the launching of our new intranet section; coordinated with the different service sectors of IOM on matters relating to Gender issues; and endured those many long hours of doing everything that is nothing to keep my brain cells functioning as I wait for my supervisor’s instructions. Yes, I have done all these and my 6 months are almost over. But what comes next?

I am in that transition stage again, and it feels heavier than before. For one, it’s been a year since I graduated. I tell myself by now, I should have at least enough experience to get my career going, but working for an invisible supervisor and with your blockmate just right behind you, I felt like I wasn’t working at all! (Being with Miggie actually was the one thing that made work interesting!) There was no pressure, no one was checking up on me. I even requested my Manila supervisor to give me work or assign me to do anything –anything at all, because honestly, I was melting in boredom and I feared my brain cells were slowly dying.

The first 3 months were pretty rough: I was always staying up late in the office to finish deadlines or to do more research. But after the extension, all my tasks were just so mediocre like uploading this document, editing that document and they don’t even take up 3 hours! In fact, it doesn’t even take a college student to do them! I wanted to do more, learn more, understand more, but the mediocrity of the tasks required only robotic responses: Click here, select this, input, drag, copy, paste, submit.

Don’t misunderstand me. I did enjoy working for IOM and gained a few friends. Working for an international organization is always good for experience and credentials, but as with all other organizations, the politics was just really bad. There were issues on ranks and grades, on why this person was promoted or why that person is leaving. If you concentrate too much on the politics going around, you won’t totally enjoy work. Lucky for me, I was hidden in a secluded area, the PIU unit. It was our little world –Miggie, ate alms, ate hazel and Ma’am Mercie’s. the unit being so hidden from everyone else made for little social interaction, but amongst us, we were just content and happy.

So, with the remainder of my internship spent in front of the computer and seated all day long, I’m getting out of IOM a fatter person. Honestly! That’s what happens when you just sit, eat and type 8 hours a day, five times a week.

I don’t know what comes next after IOM. I am praying that God will place me where He knows I can learn more, and really contribute to the good of the society. Cliché as it may sound, I want to change this world for the better, that’s why I’m looking for community development and humanitarian work. I don’t want to work for the sake of money or work just to have work. I want to work where I know I can help people, where I can reach out to those who are impoverished, poor, and needing. It just upsets and frustrates me that even when you want to help, there are still so many requirements. You want to help the community? You must have at least a year of social work or background in social science. You want to do missions? You raise your own support. You want to volunteer for an international organization abroad? You must shoulder your plane fare and your entire 3 or 6 months’ stay. (Ikaw na nga tong nagvovolunteer, ikaw pa mag babayad?) You want to help the children get education, women get empowerment, youths develop leadership, you have to have at least 3-5 years’ experience in those areas! And while your passion burns for these issues, you get disillusioned and wonder why you can’t just HELP OUT in your own little way and why they need so many requirements. Can’t we simply help? Well you could argue that intentions are not enough, but what if I say I can provide excellence with it?

I’m kind of disillusioned, but I will not let this discourage me. I will trust God in whatever He has in store for me, and in the meantime, I will pray, read the Word, read the news and blog away.

At least my brain cells are functioning. And with that, I continue to learn.

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