Living Curious.

I found this write up in my old blog and realized that this is the realization of my ultimate dream when I was young (when my interest in Journalism, people and places started).


Once in a lifetime experience indeed.
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X. SEARCHING FOR THE REBELS
(Blank Production’s experience)

THE OVERVIEW

            Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang, walang sinuman ang namamatay, para sa sarili lamang.

No man is an island. It is indeed a fact that no matter how hard we try to detach ourselves to the world we’re living in, we are simply attached to it, piece of it, and significant to its growth. We may simply keep away from our attachment to it and think about ourselves for awhile but sooner or later, we’re going to face the reality that all we’ve done and we’re doing affect every creature, culture and history.

So I think it is sensible to say that every little thing that the media is doing, broadcasting and publishing affect the life and growth of every individual and every nation. And the responsibility of culture formation and progress largely depend on the people that compose the media industry. Hence, the maturity and growth of our people depend on the way the media treat and present each and every issue and idea.

            Growing up in the land with several mountains and fields, I am so accustomed to with gossips on terrorism side by side. I grew up wanting to hear their voice and fathom every meaning that they’re putting in their every action. I grew up wanting to do a documentary on the Bagong Hukbong Bayan or New People’s Army (NPA) and share it to other people who are confused, also wanting to understand them and to those who are afraid to seek for the truth and just accept everything given to them.

            September 27, 2003, when the Police Headquarters in Lopez, Quezon was bombed, several policemen and civilians were killed and wounded, and the whole town witnessed how bullets fly like kites and balloons in a wonderful day. It was done allegedly by the New People’s Army. From then on, NPA became the town’s enemy and in many instances, while in different towns or provinces, the town’s people were stereotyped as NPA. I experienced being called as one, but unlike other people in my town, I didn’t see it as negative, the zeal to learn what these people, the NPAs, are fighting for and why they’re striving to continue sacrificing for their ideologies started at that point. They are living in my town, and as their folk, I opt to believe that I have the responsibility to know them and explain to others the reason of their existence. I always love to live peacefully, I always miss my old hometown where I can go out to learn, play with brilliant kids and enjoy fresh air whenever I want. But I understand that living peacefully will never take place if there are things that are bothering me and I’m not doing anything to understand them.

            And now, I courageously started my mission to understand them. I know I could never devote my whole life trying to explain to the world what they’re fighting for, because in reality, I’m still striving to know them to be able to advocate fair treatment for them. I understand that they’re mean in their actions sometimes, and I still can’t explain why. But I also understand their genuine objective making this country fair to every idea and every individual.

            Since I am wholly aware of their existence in my own hometown, I didn’t feel much fear in doing a documentary about them. The pre-production phase of our documentary seemed to be so jovial and trouble-free. But during the production phase, which is the data-gathering phase, I was trembling. I thought of the two UP students who are still missing because of the investigation they did, I thought of the future that I planned, I thought of my childhood memories and I thought of the many possibilities to lose my life. I was scared. I got confused but our group’s goal to search for truth and share what we’ve learned to our classmates kept me back on track.

            This stage of my life is not just an application of everything I’ve learned in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas for four years as a Broadcast Journalism student; this is also a treasured accomplishment and this is what I’m made of.

THE HYPOTHESIS
            Many articles say that the New People’s Army is a terrorist group, which promotes war and divide the Filipino nation. Gossips say that they kill each other in the group, they kill other people, they’re bad, troublemaker and useless in the society. Many people say that they have connections in the government and they’re aiding them.

THE EXPERIENCE
            We didn’t use paper trail or documents though we came across some documents on the Sept 27, 2003 attack during our data gathering in the Lopez Police Headquarters. We maximized human resources. 

            When we were still in Manila, we contacted friends who we think could help us find active members of NPA. We made plan A, B and C. We thought of coordinating with the 76th Infantry Battalion, since they have the anti-terrorism campaign, to help us look for former NPAs that could probably give us some details about the organization but due to several reasons, we didn’t get to them. We tried to ask several people in the town, the people who conducted anti-terrorism campaign, professors, allegedly NPAs, and priests for us to get different angles of the story. We went to Lopez Police Headquarters and interviewed policemen n their knowledge on NPA. We went to several barangays and the data gathering lasted for two days simply because people don’t want or maybe afraid to give us information. We tried to gather and collect documentaries done about them, but due to lack of time (some, simply don’t want to help us) and electricity (because we went there after Typhoon Milenyo), we didn’t get anything.   We interviewed a former NPA that is currently working on the municipal hall. He scrutinized us, asked every detail about us, and asked about our documentary and data gathering. It was the first time I experienced talking to someone whom I was hiding some information that I learned. There’s actually nothing wrong if we went to the Police because we’re trying to get both sides, but we understand that if the NPAs will learn about it, we could not control their thoughts and I’m wondering if they’ll still let us explain our side. I couldn’t look at his eyes completely though I tried to pretend that everything’s fine. Now I experienced the feeling of being an investigative journalist, the feeling of trying to keep information and trying to solve the puzzle all by yourself because the topic is so sensitive that every move and word connote life or death, failure or success. After hours of negotiating, we gained their trusts and asked us to go to their camps at 5 in the afternoon. I felt my mom’s fear and my dad’s perseverance to show courage to me. I was scared. We were scared. We rode in a van going there. Silly, the NPAs talked to the AFPs face-to-face during the checkpoint in a very remote town in Quezon province. My heart seemed to jump from time to time, my mind entertained memories and wonderful thoughts, my body was paralyzed, and my soul consistently begged for the Lord’s guidance. All the parts of my being seemed to work together towards one goal– to be alive, find the truth and make a difference. 

            We sneaked in the bushes, walked for about two hours and kept our minds and eyes alert for we never know whether the military is spying or not. What we were thinking that time was to hide because the military will never believe that we were just there to do a documentary and we were not connected to them.

WHAT WE LEARNED
We experienced their lives as No Permanent Address. We experienced how they endure sleeping in mountains without good houses, the alert way of sleeping, their discipline in the camp and the way they respected each other. Unlike what many people say, they are friendly and very accommodating. They believe that everything has its own place that’s why they have time and place for everything. They’re starting their day so early and starting it with “Balitaan,” in which they tell stories about their nights and the current events in our country. They’re so updated with what’s happening in our land, and they make sure to give time for discussion about these current events. They never stop studying. They have their own books, developed their own website, and have their own special occasions. Their food is great. Haha. Their songs are so relaxing and tranquil. Living with them is just like living with ordinary happy people who know whom they are for.  They know the consequence of being a member of NPA and they’re ready to sacrifice their lives for what they’re fighting for. They believe in Lenin, Marx and Mao TseTung’s philosophies and they believe that they’re fighting for the rights of the majority of the Flipinos, the farmers and the poor. They’re against the American imperialism, Feudalism and bureaucrats. How do they survive thinking that they don’t have jobs? Simply with the support of the masses. They help the masses in their problems; conduct activity for the masses and the masses loved them. It’s adulating that they opt to have patience and talk to people that are stereotyping and insulting them and the fact that they have high respect to ‘love’ and courage. And that’s the reason why they know the reason of their existence and why they’re fearless of death.

            I admit, I didn’t see the whole picture of the New People’s Army, but I opt to believe that I tested a hypothesis, I proved that they are not someone to be afraid of because they know how to respect people who respect their ideologies and some people in the government support their living.

            I’m still on the process of seeking for the larger truth, but I feel like I already answered one question in my mind. Like what I. A. Richards said in his theory “Meaning of Meanings,” we, humans, are the one giving meanings to everything and every meaning came from our experiences. So it is important for us, humans, to know that we don’t have the right to judge any individual unless we know him or her completely and we know every person they met, every place they’ve been and every decision they made. We can judge the act but never the person’s being.

I am now applying what was written in the book, If the source said that it’s off-the-record, make sure that you’ll not reveal his or her identity even after the investigation.” And I’m proud to say that I applied during the data gathering everything I learned from my Investigative Journalism and Special Cases & Problems classes regarding ethics in media.

            Several stories inspired us during the conversation with them; several things made us understand that the world is manipulating our thoughts and truths in some ways; there times that they asked as to be honest in the professions that we’re going to choose; but in the whole experience of being with the ‘outcasts,’ there are two things they left me to ponder about and keep in mind: who am I really for? And that the world is a very big laboratory where we can learn wonderful things each and every second of our lives. 

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Let’s talk about Marketing in Jakarta.

I couldn’t help it.

I’m addicted to checking out advertisements and market behavior wherever I go. I concede that the market segment that I mostly observe is very small and I tend to generalize sometimes, but this is based on my unbiased and tried-my-best-to-be-objective observation. Haha.
Couchsurfers from Jakarta loves Blackberry!

I went to Jakarta last March to have a glimpse of Indonesia. When I arrived, in the airport, I’ve seen a huge blackberry advertisement. I started to wonder if it’s a trend in Jakarta. I’ve walked, had coffee, ate, went to internet shops, wandered again and again, and everywhere I went in the streets of Jakarta, Indonesians were using Blackberry.

We celebrated Earth Hour and had dinner with the Couch Surfing-Jakarta. In a group of 8, 6 have Blackberry as their mobile phones. Interesting! I therefore conclude that Jakarta is invaded by Blackberry. Bow. Haha.

I wonder why and how it became a trend. Is it because it’s cheaper to have BBS? Is it because of the appearance? Packaging?

Well, definitely, if everyone’s using the same service, it will definitely be cheaper.

But I’m more curious to know how advertisements will be effective to the Indonesian Market. Is my assumption true that “Gratis” is a trend in Indonesia’s advertising industry? Well, I just concluded this since most of the billboards and posters that I’ve seen mentioned about their “gratis” or freebies!
at the train station.

What do you think? 

at the airport.





I think I know how to break my ice.

Yesterday, I realized that I’ve been in my current job for a year already and I think my career goals improved a lot, clearer this time.


I have genuine interest in people ever since and that’s the only thing that didn’t change as time goes by.

I grew up believing that I want to end up being a Broadcast Journalist. That was my one and only dream because I want to talk with people, but when I was very near to the realization of that dream,  I felt that I didn’t belong in that industry. True, maybe I gave up too soon, but I know I want something more…

Communications and Media-related posts are everywhere! My college professor told me before that I should be very aggressive because there are many careers to venture in the industry of Communications but after joining some well-known companies in the industry, I know that I have to trim down the scope of choices and focus.

The field of Marketing, Sales and Advertising excites me. 

Look around you, media influences everything and I always crave to be part of “that” influencing body that can eventually transform lives, especially for the youth and their image of themselves.

Considering my experiences and interests, and after learning that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the average estimated growth of jobs to enter the field of Advertising/ PR/ Marketing is around 68, 000 until 2016, my eagerness to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Advertising intensified. Keen competition is expected that’s why I want to learn more about Global Marketing.



The BLS reports that advertising and promotions managers saw mean annual earnings of $91,100 in 2007. That same year, marketing managers earned $113,400 and public relations managers earned $97,170. All three occupations saw mean annual earnings over six figures in New York and New Jersey. (http://www.collegegrad.com)

Going back to school excites me.
I’ve been out of school for almost 4 years and just like how other people give so much emphasis in the consequence of being 25, I have a guilty feeling that I should take the learning to a higher level.

After all, I’m feeling quite old these days because of the routine. To stay fresh and young, I know learning new things is a must.

Writing, please come back.


I am talkative.

I garrulously say a boring and nonsense story most of the time and I like it when somebody listens. That’s why I love my boyfriend because he listens to me no matter how nonsense my stories are. Haha. Well, in return, I laugh at his jokes. The next moment, you’ll hear me chortling while everybody thinks that I’m slightly loopy simply because we listen and laugh at each other’s zany stories and gags, shamelessly.

This is not supposed to be about him. 

This is about me going back into writing (I got a degree in AB Broadcast Journalism, believe it or not) and writing not liking me. 

As I surf the internet and search for interesting bloggers online, I become jealous of their writing skills, juxtaposing to mine (self-criticizing this time). My thoughts are too far away from each other and it reflects in all my write ups.

There are many things for me to work on.

FOCUS. I should work on this one big time. The only solution that I’ve thought of is to write down all my thoughts randomly and choose the one that I can expound and talk about.

KNOW IF IT MATTERS. Sometimes, I over think of what my readers need or what I need to talk about so I often have problems with eliminating unnecessary words.

COHERENCE matters. Most of the time, because of my vague and jumbled thoughts, I write ideas that are not connected with one another and it sucks.

TELL A STORY. BE INSPIRED. BE ORIGINAL. I want to be a story-teller and my lasting reverie is to transform even a single life through my stories.

But I believe I still have hope. Just like what William Zinsser said in one of the greatest books about writing On Writing Well, “You learn to write by writing. It is a truism worn thin by repetition, but it is still true, and it can’t be repeated often enough. The only way to lean to write is to force yourself to produce a certain number of words on a regular basis.”

I’m up to the challenge! I just hope there’s someone who’s up to criticizing my group of words.

Turning Japanese: Celebrating Hina Matsuri!



Our Client Services team is an all-girls team. Luckily, I have BEAUTIFUL girls in the team and they’re all SINGLE. When our lovely president put the Hina Dolls at the top of the fridge and she said that we should be reminded to remove the dolls on the 3rd of March, everybody was so cautious because we know that according to their belief, if we’ll forget to remove them, we’ll not be able TO MARRY 😦


That is scary, I know. 


I just arrived from a business trip (from Cebu) when we celebrated the all girls’ day then, we had the “how to handle rejection” training. 
Definitely, ALL OF US WILL MARRY SOMEDAY. LOL.

It’s fun to wake up looking forward that you have new things to discover & experience.



We ate Chirashizushi made by our President, Ms. Jeri.


Here’s a gist of the festival’s history:


March 3 is Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival or Girls’ Festival), when people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Families with young daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house. They offer rice crackers and other food to the dolls.


The dolls wear costumes of the imperial court during the Heian period (794-1192) and are placed on a tiered platform covered with red felt. The size of the dolls and number of steps vary, but usually the displays are of five or seven layers; single-tiered decorations with one male and one female doll are also common. 


The top tier is reserved for the emperor and the empress. A miniature gilded folding screen is placed behind them, just like the real Imperial throne of the ancient court. On the second tier are three ladies-in-waiting, and on the third are five male court musicians. Ministers sit on either side of trays of food on the fourth step, and the fifth row features guards flanked by an orange tree to the left and a cherry tree to the right.

The practice of displaying these dolls on the third day of the third month on the traditional Japanese calendar began during the Edo period (1603-1868). It started as a way of warding off evil spirits, with the dolls acting as a charm. Even today, people in some parts of the country release paper dolls into rivers after the festival, praying that the dolls take people’s place in carrying away sickness and bad fortune. Most families take their beautiful collection of dolls out of the closet around mid-February and put it away again as soon as Hina Matsuri is over. This is because of an old superstition that families that are slow in putting back the dolls have trouble marrying off their daughters.

Random sadness.



For 3 consecutive months, our Client Services Team had reached and exceeded the target Sales for each month and the management just announced it and congratulated us awhile ago during our weekly Sales Meeting. I don’t know why but I felt unhappy about it. 


Maybe I am tired. Maybe I am pressured. Maybe I am hungry.


Or maybe I am feeling that I can do better! Even if I’ve been so swamped in paperworks and as-high-as-mt-apo-tasks, I still feel that I haven’t done my best. Is it because I’m having a balanced life? I’m just thinking that it’s about the hormones. Haha.


Well, I’ll be out of town next week and instead of getting excited for my vacation, I’m now pressured of the business meetings coming up! Proposals are piling up! 


Now, all I want is a hug from Taku and a very good dinner.

PROSPECTING

This is a super overdue post. 


I was thinking that Prospecting in the Sales Industry and Prospecting a new partner/ boyfriend have the same process. True?


In a Sales Funnel, Prospecting is the first step and occupies the largest space. Simply because it’s the continuous and deliberate search for new prospects or new needs of present customers. Then, there comes the appointment getting, preparation, presentation, closing, objection, negotiation, then… SOLD!


In both areas, you need to plan your prospecting. You have to collect “suspects” then qualify them. First, you establish the need or the opportunity.


In Sales, everyone can be a prospect. Same with lovelife. But to make the search more exciting and effective, you have to plan out and determine which will be fit for your company and which will be needing your service. No one will buy your service if they think that you don’t offer something different or they don’t see the opportunity for growth using your service. Same with lovelife, right?


So after planning your “prospects,” you have to qualify them. In Sales, you must determine if they have…


A- bility to Pay
W- ant or Need
A-uthority to Buy
R- easonably Approachable
E- ligible to Buy


In lovelife, you must consider the same…


Sources in prospecting can be referrals, Internet, newspapers and other publications, other salesmen or other singles, associates of the prospects, and the prospects himself. But always be reminded that in prospecting, you must put set targets or systematize, look near and far, it must be continuous and deliberate and you have to AIM HIGH TO SETTLE HIGH. Never settle for less.


Why do we need Prospecting?


…for effective use of the Salesperson’s time
…higher sales and income
…replacement of lost customers


Think about it, it will be so sad for you to belong to someone else, when the right one comes along… Prospecting helps one to measure what one deserves and gives one the opportunity to explore.