Monthly Archives: March 2015

Burning bridges

burning-bridges1

I overheard a sensational drama at work a week ago. A colleague of mine, holding a very delicate position in our department, got involved in a seemingly verbal brawl against another colleague. Shit happens sometimes as there are really inevitable courses that might happen at work which can ignite an argument at any given time.

Glimpsing over the scenario, I got a better grasp of where the problem started. Colleague A is a newly appointed internal process assessor and colleague B is a mere production crew. Colleague A and B were both friends not until that sparking scenario. Being new to her position, colleague A has been taking the time putting herself in the limelight by being so dedicated to her post, that she attends to the minutest detail of every process. She has been so busy pointing out mistakes, plotting accountability and unpleasant consequences, especially towards her lower colleagues specifically colleague B. Colleague A was oblivious about her being consumed by her job that she’s stepping other people and that she was burning bridges…

It is an irony on how people mutate into a different character when thrown in the sea of opportunities. Some flaunt their true colors and even their ulterior motives resurface. I hate to say it but it is too common in my workplace that it saddens me to think how my former workmates submit to the process of metamorphosis: from being kind to being rude, considerate to strict, cheerful to snob, humble to proud and most of all, pleading to commanding. Some of my workmates have gained a position and yet they were a different person now. It’s as if they have forgotten the same hardship we lament about when we were on the same level.

The sense of authority can make people change. It gives them power and control over certain things. It turns someone into a person of maturity, the ability to decide on things with enough prudence, but on a sad note, it can also transform certain beings into a voracious monster, especially those with a frail moral integrity who succumb to being consumed by the bliss of power found on their coveted job.

Sometimes I tend to ask myself: What if one day I’ll be entrusted a superior and more delicate position? Would I be like them? Would I be overpowered by the delight it brings? Perhaps, I can only answer it if given the chance to be in their shoes. But if being in their shoes means losing my friends I’d rather not.

I believe that anyone can tactically clamber into advancement without sacrificing the relationship that was once built. Bridges must not be burned and so connections such as friendship must not be traded to the yearnings toward self-promotion. One must not step others just to prove that they are effective and worthy for a certain post.

Even there are many who were misled by the desire of reaching a higher post; those who intentionally or unintentionally deprived others of consideration and those who were devoured by the thought to succeed at the expense of others, I still believe that there are few who are rooted on the ground, no matter what attainment, position or situation they’ve had.

I laud those people who are effective on their posts, not because they were strict but gentle on their way; those people who are kind and humble and not arrogant, as being effective is not about finding faults in people, rather understanding the reason that leads them to commit it.

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Nostalgia

Awakened by a loud engine sound, pursued by an irritating blowing of horns, the PNR train forced me to jump out on my bed disturbed and quite irritated.

It was 5:00 in the morning and the dawn is soon to break. I wolfed over a cup of coffee and sat on the veranda. Jeepneys came rushing to the scene; people who were bound to go to work trotted the street and establishments though half-baked ready started opening their windows. Soon after, the morning shifted into a business- as- usual mood.

I sipped the coffee a bit faster as I try to mull over the busy scene. Oh, well, it’s been a while since I last enjoyed the loosened and hassle free type of environment. At one point, the mornings I used to wake up to— several years ago are ways too different from the habitual mornings I am facing everyday here in the City—harried and always on the go.

I wonder how the “promdi” in me, scuffled with the chaotic situation brought about by urban living. Several years passed, I was like a melting iron trying to fit into a mold, conforming to a varying trend that the city has tried to acquaint the people with. And so by now, I am a certified city lad. Gone was the thick accent of being a Bicolano. Gone was the ignorance to high-technology machines such as elevators, escalators, the MRT and the like. However, no matter how adept I am coping with change brought by my current setting still I yearn for that laid back life I’ve had while I was in the province

I am a native of Catanduanes, a place you’ve never heard of, perhaps. It is where I have spent most of my unruffled moments as a kid and as a teen. Thus, when I reminisce about the honeyed stuff I got it in there, nostalgia always purges automatically the tears in me.

Panganiban Catanduanes: My home town. credits to Payo FB page for the photo.

Panganiban Catanduanes: My hometown. credits to Payo FB page for the photo.

I remember the times when I would wake up in the morning feeling so refreshed by the fogs that cover the fields in our front yard. Often I would watch the sun with fondness as it slowly dries the mist on every green leaf and with awe I would seize every moment to breathe the balmy and sweet-smelling atmosphere. And at night I would gaze upon the stars and be enamored by the croaking of frogs on which in the city I hardly could experience.

I also can’t replace the wonder brought by the walking carabaos and cows on the rural road and not the fast and furious cars of the metropolis. The traffic and noise pollution were the things commonly absent from my place. We walk instead of riding a vehicle may it be a kilometer or longer.

We don’t have crowded streets, thus children, most of the time play on it making it as their lair. No wonder, how kids from the city envy to play outside just like what the “promdi” kids do.

Some say, that the cost of living in the city is pricey. Yes, I can attest to that as there is no word such as “free” in there, not even camote-tops or that famous “kangkong”. Everything has a price tag. I could still recall on how our little garden back in my hometown serves as garden of all, wherein our neighbors can freely ask for vegetables planted on it. There is a spirit of sharing even made visible through the exchanging of viands from one neighbor to another. Unlike on where I am staying now, the people whom I happened to call as neighbors were still strangers to me putting such divide— built along the walls.

And when it comes to fresh foods such as fish and other crustaceans, of course, we’re well endowed with that. Based on the geography our little Island is situated where bodies of water is surrounding us, it is natural for us to be of bounty of sea creatures. Since I was too fed up with canned goods and instant noodles I always end up craving for a lip-smacking dishes I used to taste back then. Familiar with “Pagi” (stingray) seasoned with coconut milk drizzled by “malunggay” leaves and some spices? Oh, that’s my favorite.

So many things I have missed since that graceful time long gone; the peaceful seas and rivers I have swum across with, the hills and mountains I climbed thus far, the countless summer I spent under the sun and most of all, the comfort of a slow-paced life which now I really long to have.

Being mired from the memories of yesterday that shaped my wholeness as a person, it is inevitable for me or for anyone who feels the same yearning, not to feel nostalgic and sad. My mother once told me, that no matter how I try to fit myself in a new character, new environment or even to a new situation, I would always wind up to the old and familiar mold and that perhaps, my being a “probinsiyano” is like an indelible mark —tattooed on my personality.

If only I could bring my job at Catanduanes, on that little town of Panganiban, most probably I wouldn’t have to wake up disturbed and agitated by the sound of PNR train, instead I would feel more of inspired from the cackling of hens and peeping of chicks early in the morning. I wouldn’t have to ride a jeep and rush against time. I’ll probably just walk while staring on every idyllic landscape just at the side of the street.

But for now, I’d rather take a bath and again wake myself up from daydreaming. The sun is up I better hurry so I won’t be late. Traffic is waiting.