Friday, December 28, 2012

A short summary of my 2012

This is a short summary of the year I just had. A bird's eye view of the general timeline of events and experiences that made my 2012 a year worth remembering.

The year started with me being accepted as a social mobilization officer for WWF-Philippines' Earth Hour 2012 campaign. I found myself grabbing a ticket to Manila for my first day of work, and that time I didn't even have a place to stay in the big city yet! For my first week of work, I was moving in overnight dorms and hostels, until I found a cheap room to rent in a squatter's area in the city. It didn't really bother me the slightest, even if there's fresh supply of dog poop on the road every single morning. My landlord, an old man who has parts of his house rented, is a nice guy who also came from my home province. My only problem was I cannot use my plug-in internet connection as it can't detect any signal from my room. And did I tell you my did not have a window?

From that time until early April, I've went to work everyday and learned as much as I can. I find it a blessing that I have great teammates in the persons of Toni, Jacques and Tiffy. Though Tiffy had to leave halfway through our preparations because she got a scholarship in Japan, everything ended with a successful Earth Hour 2012 countdown in Makati City. We even had the chance to shoot a TV advert for Earth Hour 2012, but sadly, I'm as small as a bacteria in the final product.

April came and I found myself in the training week for International Citizen Service - Youth Action (ICS-YA) Programme. An officemate of mine in WWF-Philippines, Miss Daryl, suggested that I pass applications for the programme. I clearly remember spending extra hours in the office to do submissions as I only knew about ICS on the day of the deadline itself. Soon, I was in the first week of the programme with other youth from Bohol, Bulacan and Samar. I knew I had to do ICS, so I went on with it.  The training was held in First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo, Rizal and the venue was just so good. I mean, it was my first time to use key cards to open doors. How do they do that anyway? After a week-long bonding and training, we then went on to our assigned communities. My team of youth volunteers flew to the province of Bohol. Little did I know that I was going to have one of the most unforgettable experiences ever.

I lived in the province of Bohol for almost three months to do various work on environmental sustainability. I had got to know a lot of great people in the form of my British counterparts, my programme and volunteer placement supervisors, my Filipino and British co-volunteers, my host family, and all the nice Boholanos who were very accommodating to us. The programme helped me discover a lot of things about myself, and it helped me be more friendly too. It was just something priceless that I would always have it with me wherever in the world I might wake up in. Everyone who I met during the volunteer work was just great, and along with the memories were loads of photos! My British counterparts, Ayumi and Vicki are all so nice, and I've also learned a lot about myself, my upbringing as a Filipino and the lives of my co-volunteers.

After ICS-YA, I then went to a trip to Thailand and Cambodia. It was my first time going abroad so I prepared a lot for it from my documents, e-mails to the places I was going to stay. The entire thing went smoothly because I had a companion with me, a guy named Michael, who I agreed to travel with so we can share the budget. The trip itself was amazing because I was just so impressed with Bangkok, and Siem Reap was crazy for various reasons. I'm considering going back when I have the chance to. I also got to meet a close friend of mine in high school and during my ROTC days, Buddy Digs, when I was in Bangkok. He's currently working in the city now in a well-known car company. 

October came, and I was contacted by VSO Bahaginan to assist in the training of the new batch of ICS volunteers. I didn't have second thoughts. The one-week stint in Cebu City led me to my last job of the year,: being the coordinator for the youth consulations for the Youth Consultations for the Post-2015 Development Framework by the United Nations. The project, funded by Restless Development in the UK was to come up with a comprehensive youth report for the UN. During these months, I was flying back and forth from Manila and Bohol, preparing materials, negotiating venues and coordinating with the participants. I am really proud of the said job because I know it will have a good output that'll be of use for the future.

Now, a new year looms and I feel ready to face the upcoming challenges that it will bring with it. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Work-related thoughts for my last job this year

VSO Bahaginan Restless Development UK Asia Philippines United Nations Asian Youth Report Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals Bohol Cebu

My job as the project coordinator and facilitator for the post-2015 youth consultations in the Philippines has finally ended. I am very thankful for the said job as it made me to learn a lot of things during its two-month run, as well as enabled me to get back to Manila again, and even travel back to Bohol where the consultations were held. I learned that coordination work is no joke, and you have to do a lot of things behind-the-scenes so that an event or activity will run smoothly on its schedules dates. I'm very thankful for the guidance of my bosses, Sir Glenn and Miss Sheilla.

I enjoyed the job because there was so much to do, and that I was able to meet once again some friends I made in International Citizen Service - both from my own batch and the latest batch of volunteers. I'm really thankful and happy for the opportunity to work. Not only that, we also brought in selected youth leaders from Cebu and Bohol to take part in it!

The job is fulfilling because the output is something relevant to the future of the planet - a consolidated youth report to be submitted to the United Nations from the 12-country youth consultation on what the youth want the world to be after 2015. The said year is important for that will be the time when the Millennium Development Goals expire. I feel that it's important that the youth have an input in the post-2015 development framework because half of the world's population is under 25 years old! By 2015, these people, which includes myself, will be the ones who will face the new challenges the future time will bring. It's just nice to know that I did a part in what will be an input to the future of our world with these workshops. I feel blessed to have worked with skilled and accomplished people.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanks Candy Magazine!

Hey guys, don't forget to grab this month's copy of Candy Magazine as I'm one of the three Filipino youth featured in their "Movers and Shakers" article. I talked about UKaid and VSO's International Citizen Service programme in the Philippines, and invited the magazine's teen readers to join! 

Magazine Asia Philippines Candy Magazine Lauren Young Filipino Youth Asian Youth Changemakers Iloilo Guy Asian Guy Volunteering Volunteer VSO ICS International Citizen Service UKAid United Kingdom Progressio

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Post-2015 Development Framework Youth Consultations in Photos

Being the program coordinator as well as one of the workshop facilitators for the Philippine-leg of the Post-2015 Framework consultations is definitely my biggest accomplishment this year as a newbie in the international development world. As part of sharing the experience with all of you, here are some snapshots of the two workshops that were conducted. 

Youth Participation Inclusion Painting Art Philippines International Development

Group Discussion World Youth Filipino British Friendship Exchange Development

International Friendship Youth Discussion Youth in Development Youth Inclusion

Post-2015 Youth Consultations United Nations International Citizen Service VSO Bahaginan Philippines Bohol

International Citizen Service Youth Action VSO Philippines Bohol Opportunities Expression Youth Participation Asia International Development Equality

Youth Priorities What Is Important To The Youth Today The Future of the World Solutions

Internship Youth Volunteer Work Philippines Fun Exchange Clay Doll

International Citizen Service ICS VSO UK VSO Bahaginan Philippines World We Want Youth What does the youth think Creativity Post-2015 Future Solutions Innovation Development

ICS International Citizen Service

Youth Philippines ICS VSO

The World We Want Youth Future Post-2015 United Nations What The Youth Has To Say Philippines UK United Kingdom

ICS Inclusion Youth Development International Development Youth of Asia United Kingdom Better World

Restless Development VSO Bahaginan Post-2015 Development Framework Youth Philippines United Kingdom International Citizen Service Civic Society Youth Leaders PWD Inclusion British Youth Filipino Youth Bohol Cebu Mindanao Iloilo Manila

Though I took most of the photos, they are property of VSO Bahaginan. Yours truly also did the editing and post-processing of the photographs for purposes of being shown here. Thank you to everyone who made this workshop possible. Most especially to the Filipino and British youth who have shared their thoughts and aspirations, that as the heirs of the planet's future, on what the future of our world should be like.