To #MozLondon

I first attended a Mozilla All-hands workweek in 2014 when it happened in Portland. I attended as part of the newly-formed FSA E-board who has been working so hard during the past months in revamping the program led by the amazing Community Manager that we had. FSA is the first (and so far the only) area at Mozilla that I have been a core contributor of in a global level, so I was so excited to meet the people I have been working so closely for the first time. I led the revamp of the Firefox Clubs and I take pride on the sleepless nights I spent working on the new process and training materials. I was ready to rock in Portland.

But it was the first workweek I attended. Less idealism and more serious business, so for the first time ever I was so stressed in a Mozilla event. Each day I had been learning what was really happening inside the organization, mostly cool stuff but sadly, it isn’t the case for the program I am involved with. Portland weather continued to be gloomy and the clouds were getting heavier as I am getting filled with confusion and doubt. It was my first time to be upset about and started questioning how well are we really doing in taking care of volunteers in Mozilla.

Now, what happened? Simple. Apparently there is a difference on how we value this program between us, the volunteer team running it and the team managing it. We all went to Portland with a goal to think about how we can improve the experience of Mozilla’s young volunteers but too bad, we are apparently all about numbers. Indeed I am aware we contribute to that, but I expected they see us beyond. These people we work so hard for are just valued for the numbers they bring. This isn’t even close to what I expected from all the things we have been working on since the revamp. Indeed, reality sucks.

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My Mozilla Story

Let me drop a quick bomb as I start this entry: Almost a year after I signed up to the Reps program, I quit.

Here’s the thing— First, I am an industrial engineering student (not in the computer/ IT studies) and I was the only girl.

When I joined the Reps program, my only Mozilla-related experience was using Firefox as my primary browser ever since. I didn’t know that there is a community and you can contribute to the organization. Back then, I was involved with a university-wide organization so I have a pretty solid experience and network to run student-targeted events. So in my first year as a Rep I just organized Mozilla presence at events, by myself.

In that year though, unknown to me, the MozillaPH Community has already been formed and is starting to gain momentum. The early members back then was of course, searching for those listed as Mozilla Reps from the Philippines. I also joined the mailing list so I’ve been reading what’s been going on, but I never participated and I almost never interacted with them. I never attended meet-ups because other than the locations are far from where I live it also primarily because… they were all men.

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Moving on to 2015-16 with the FSA program

So in this post I had an idea to document what we are doing at the FSA program to engage Mozilla’s young  people.

Last term (2014-15) I was part of the pioneer FSA Eboard whose focus was on revolutionizing the program. I handled Club Development and that was honestly one of the best things that I have done for Mozilla so far. Now, I am continuing my work on supporting the program by digging deeper from developing Firefox Clubs to focusing on the ambassadors themselves. Formally, the name of my position would be Ambassador Impact Lead. I am grateful to be serving another term with the eboard with the amazing #FSADREAMTEAM!

Compared to my role last term where I set-up a structure and a system to facilitate club formations, my work for Ambassador Impact would be very similar to doing a research, where I continuously find ways to understand the FSA population and target market to develop the needed support and resources for the ambassadors.

As of now my planned projects are as follows:

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Participation at Mozilla- Let’s Empower the Youth!

FSA Philippines - Clash of Clubs Day 2

As it is a trending topic at my Mozilla channels lately and with the Whistler Workweek buzzing with ‘going into space’, I thought it is just so timely to express my thoughts on participation. Participation-wise, here’s what I think we should really put a spotlight on: our young contributors. Okay I may be biased because I am with the Firefox Student Ambassadors team (LOL), but I’ve been actively involved with it for a reason. I believe that helping our young contributors grow with Mozilla is a way of investing on the organization’s future. I strongly believe that taking actions now to engage and develop them as the next leaders is a way of securing the opportunities that may come up in the future.

FSA Philippines - Clash of Clubs Day 2

Empowering the youth as they are obviously ‘the world’s future’ may sound cliche, but I think by this time generations have proven that indeed, to have a more proactive and involved citizens you must nurture them when they’re young, during the time that they are still a sponge absorbing everything and still forming their own values. Same goes for Mozilla. I believe that by sharing our mission, the relevance of what we do and providing them opportunities to do something, we can have long-term contributors, who not just help improve the organization but also pass on what they have learned from their rich experiences with Mozilla.

Perhaps the Mozilla Philippines Community is one of those communities who witnessed the power of empowered young people. Most of our volunteers are either still students or young professionals. We have witnessed great transformations from being a shy volunteer to assuming a big sister/ brother role as a facilitator of our FSA Leaders Camp. We have Reps who started as Student Reps/ FSAs and come to think of it, I was a student when I joined the Reps program. Mozilla fascinated me years back and now I have set the Mozilla values as my own.

Alright great, exploring the youth’s potential looks like a promising strategy, now what?
I think we have two problems though, young people tend to be shy… and underrated. In some places it might be the seniority culture and for some, maybe we’re just not inclusive for them.

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JP 2015 Day 3: Takayama & Shirakawa-go

A huge part of my Japan trip was inspired by anime. I guess there is nothing more cliche than going on a pilgrimage to the location basis of one of my fave show, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni! So I went to Shirakawa-go, the basis of the cursed Hinamizawa town in the anime.

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If you are coming from Tokyo, make sure you take the rightmost seat to see Mt. Fuji! I’ve been told that it is uncommon to see Mt. Fuji clearly. You have around 10mins I think to see it while on the journey.

From Atami, I took the shinkansen to Nagoya and boarded a local train to Takayama. It will be a 2h30m journey from Nagoya so make sure you are full or you have a bento ready before you board!

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JP2015- Day 0: Arrival Day & Atami

My Japan trip started on March 8 and because it is an early morning flight and my family is away, I had to camp (yet again) at the airport. Seriously though, I can count the times that I didn’t camp at the airport because of the flight schedule. I’m used to sleeping on the airport floors though.

I was on CEB, Flight 5J5054. Check-in and boarding went exactly as promised. Actually, before this flight, I stalked its flight history and saw that it is early or on-time most of the time. Indeed, we left a little behind the schedule but arrived a little earlier at NRT. I didn’t have proper sleep this time not to mention that I didn’t avail an in-flight meal so to avoid the hunger, I slept during the whole flight. #streetwisetips

SO… I woke up and we are only an hour away to Narita!

After a fast lining up at the immigration and claiming my baggage, I’m off to my journey… TO FIND LUNCH! I was in Terminal 2 and I got  lost in NRT finding the ‘4F Food Court’ because apparently its floor is like a mezzanine. It is not connected to the escalators and elevators that you used going up from the arrivals area to the departures area. You have to pass by the check-in counters to go up. So before finding a place to eat, I searched for the post office to get my pocket WiFi.  The post office is at the 3rd floor and if you are facing the check-in counters from the departures entrance, it is at your left side. It has this sign- 〒

I had this lunch set at UCC for JPY1200. I discovered that this is expensive.

First meal in Japan: Curry!

A photo posted by Faye Tandog (@fayetandog) on

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Why is everyone in Japan?

It’s my childhood dream to go to Japan, heeeeeeeeee

I saw a lot of people going to Japan lately and I saw a lot more wondering why there’s a sudden boom of Japan visits for the past months, comparing how it is like going to Hong Kong now (HK is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Filipinos, I think because it is the nearest country with a cold weather, without any visa requirements).

I think these are the reasons why:

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Japan 2015: Preparation

Visiting Japan is my greatest (and most feasible) dream. I’ve been always told that I need a lot of money to go there because everything is expense most especially the airfare and you need to have a high amount of ‘show money’ for the visa. I was actually told that I needed to prepare Php300k for the show money and was given a safe estimate of Php100k for an all-in 7 days trip to Japan! Given that I am just a starting employee, fulfilling my dream to go to Japan seemed to be far-fetched.

HOWEVER… the odds suddenly became all in my favor and will you believe, I managed to spend only a little above Php40k all-in on my 7D6N Japan trip! In this series of blog posts, I will tell you about my Japan experience and how I managed to spend that little for a country that is notorious for having everything expensive.

Let’s start with my preparation in the Philippines!

Step 1. Airfare

You might be surprised why this is my #1 step in preparing for my Japan trip but I would not be going on this trip  if I wasn’t able to stumble upon this ridiculous airfare discount— Cebu Pacific’s Piso Fare! For my non-Filipino friends, piso fare means that the base fare for the selected flights of Cebu Pacific will only cost Php1 (piso) which is like, USD0.023! They usually release on days with something to celebrate (i.e. holiday season, national holidays and heck, even Pacquiao’s win) so I suggest you do this:

Cebu Pac and other budget airlines in the Philippines like AirAsia usually release their promo fares at midnight, but it depends as I got to know about the promo fare that I availed while derping on Facebook at around 7 in the morning.  (Cebu Pac didn’t pay me for this or anything, I am just a satisfied customer 🙂 )

Overall, my roundtrip airfare for MNL-NRT-MNL with 15kg baggage allowance on both trips was Php6574 (USD149)! Generally, this is already such a big bargain but I think you can now go lower than this because they have removed the fuel surcharge after the long weeks of low fuel costs earlier this year. They released a Piso Fare without a fuel surcharge in January I think.

It was my first time with Cebu Pac and I was prepared with my contingency plans if ever my flight got cancelled or delayed. We departed not exactly as scheduled but we arrived a little earlier! If you are skeptical, check the flight history of 5J5054 here.

Take note that what I did was a gamble, because I do not hold a visa yet and this ticket is basically, non-refundable and non-transferable. Even name change is not allowed. I do not recommend flying on a budget airline during peak seasons, I haven’t experienced it but have seen that it is such a pain in the ass.

Expense 1: Airfare- Php6574

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10 Signs You Are An Easterner

Inspired by 11 Signs You’re A North Girl. Why is the title not ‘East Girl’, you ask? Because equality.

1. Popular meet-up places are all convenient for you to go

Makati? Sure! Katipunan? No sweat! Ortigas? No problem! Cubao? G! Actually, anywhere is convenient that you’re probably just lazy to go further north or south.

2. Everything is actually near… if there’s no heavy traffic.

Period.

3. You ride patok jeeps on a daily basis

You have probably been on one of those jeeps that go VERY fast, even on an uphill zigzag, with songs booming with bass, as if making your heart pound fast with the driving isn’t enough. Some roads can get very wide and roomy that jeepney drivers even attempt to dance with the beat. And by dancing I mean, they actually freaking try to make the jeepney dance. Oh, don’t forget: “Diretso lang po, bawal ang malapit” and “Galing po tayong terminal (which doesn’t officially exist), diretso po ang bayad“. Where did those rules even come from? Hello LTFRB?

4. You know a lot of routes going to the metro

C6, Floodway, Ortigas Extn, Marcos Hiway, Imelda Ave. Easterners have a lot of alternate routes that you are always sure to find a way home. We even have routes to Quezon and Laguna. Unless it floods, everything will be fine.

5. For your tea fix, you go to the nearest Infinitea

Because you know, you have no choice. Marikina may have a lot more options but further east, Infinitea stores have been appearing one after another. This is how we do.

6. You eat malunggay pandesal and toasted siopao on a daily basis.

You have probably noticed the rapid increase of Budongs and 3N Bakeries. You have probably joined the long queues, even.

7. C5 and Ortigas Ave Extn can be your best friends and your worst enemies.

If they don’t cooperate, it’s either you go around and end up on EDSA or take the rocky road of C6. Now choose.

8. You have second thoughts on going to a place that isn’t exactly reachable by MRT/ LRT.

What about your stored value card, right?

9. You have probably tried sitting on a center seat or being a sabit on a jeep.

Places in the east do not have strict rules against overloading a jeepney. When you go further east, who cares about being a sabit even if the road is a downhill zigzag with a looming cliff at the side of the road?

10. Why go to Tagaytay when you have Antipolo?

Anyone wanna go to LA (Lower Antipolo)? Or the Upper East Side? But then again I may be just biased.

 

Something inaccurate? Something I missed? Share it on the comments section! :p

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[HOW-TO] MozillaPH Strategic Planning

Last Jan 10-11 MozPH had our annual strategic planning where we will set our goals for 2015 in relation to how our previous year turned out. For this planning, I have to admit I spent a lot of time researching on how to properly do a strategic plan as I want us to do better than last year’s session.

I read a lot of articles on the Web and read, drum roll please, Strategic Planning for Dummies! (seriously, it helped a lot). I used a lot of plan documents from other organizations including those I am involved with and also referred to the Mozilla 2014 plan on wiki.mozilla.org/2014. On this post I will discuss how we did our planning session to give a little help to communities who want to do their annual planning.

Pics are from the FSAPH Strat Plan, which followed the similar format as the one for MozPH. We didn’t take pictures on the actual planning. :p

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