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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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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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.
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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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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Here’s another post where I will apologize for the lack of posts, which come to think of it, who am I even apologizing to? Well, perhaps I need to apologize to the one sponsoring my domain? :p Maybe I can blog more this 2015. Hey, I’m still torn between keeping my personal life private and blogging about my thoughts.
Anyway, this post should be about 2014, the year that was.
When asked about 2014, this one word immediately pops in my mind– uneventful. Pretty odd for me to say.
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This was written starting on my flight home to MNL then continued at different places (i.e. public transpo, on my table etc. lol)
I am writing this while on the plane and sort of experiencing a turbulent flight but interestingly the seatbelt sign is still not on. And at last, I had a meal that actually has taste (very tasty roast beef, bell pepper, sauce, onions and more pepper comparable to our local beef steak) after four days of eating bland food.
The topic of how I developed a picky attitude over British food though is not what I intend to write in this 15-hr trip, because hey, the fish and chips I had was nice.
I am flying back home from the city that has a special place in my heart (nope that is not because of my MozFest crush but well, ok yes it is a factor lol) because it is the venue of my awesome weekend with people that I admire and most importantly, people that keep on inspiring me. The wonderful, most anticipated Mozilla event every year that is MozFest.
Last year I came to this event to participate. My goal was to learn from people globally and bring home with me ideas (and community gossip, yes) that our community can make use of. Most importantly, it gave me an idea that served as the opportunity to make a dream of mine come true. That dream was to spearhead the first, biggest public-facing event for the Mozilla Philippines Community. It is a little dream, yes. But at least it is a dream that actually happened, all because of how this event showed me that it can.
This year I challenged myself. I want to be part of the group that leads the generation of new ideas at MozFest. Wow much high level such words wow.
I am now here at MozFest as a community builder. I used to be a student leader back in college and I still have this liking for it (guess it is really hard to get over this student-to-workforce transition) so I proposed a session at MozFest where we talk about how students can get into this opportunity to become young leaders of Mozilla communities. And because I am part of the FSA Eboard lol I am biased! :-p
Student Involvement in Mozilla Communities Session. Photo by Christos.
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I usually say that declaring yourself as ‘busy’ means you are not accomplishing anything and is not very good at managing your time. But well, I’ve been doing a lot of things that I can’t find the peace of mind to blog about what’s been happening!
We have finished the MCC Web Design Workshop Series last May which I blogged about here and things got pretty crazy since then. We are preparing for our biggest event yet which I am leading, I am now actually going to start pursuing my master’s degree starting this August, I am going to talk before some thousand audience at the biggest IT students gathering in our country on September and I suddenly become the Community Manager of the Mozilla Philippines Community.
What the hell just happened in the past month?
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It’s been a while since I last had something here! Just a quick rundown of what I’ve been doing since I last posted:
MozPH Community Meet-up in Cebu
Sir Bob, Ryan and I went to Cebu to meet-up with potential community members there. We met a lot of new people and we sure had lots of fun. Cebu is a rising tech city in the south and it is awesome that we have Mozillians over there. As a follow-up on the event, the team went back last May 17 to have a MozTour with the college that houses the largest computer lab in the Philippines.
MozPH Women’s Month Celebration
From March 15 to March 29 we had a series of all-girl events all held at Palet Express. I have blogged about these events on the Mozilla PH website. It is my first time to organize an event series for consecutive weeks and I enjoyed the pressure of it.
April is the Holy Week and graduation season in the Philippines so we deemed it is pretty hard to organize an event, especially for me as I have to make myself available for possible weekend work in preparation for our company’s ISO audit by our certifying body. Also, as the MozCamp season becomes near, I was very lucky to get invited to attend the MozCamp Design Session in San Francisco last April 23-25. Unfortunately due to some personal commitments I made on the 26th, I have to leave by April 24 (US time) to be in the Philippines by 4AM on Saturday, as I have to attend an officemate’s 10AM wedding and a 4PM graduation ceremony of a loved one. That day was kinda dreamy because I spent a lot of it sleeping while on the way to the venues and while not actively participating. I coped with the jetlag fast, apparently.
We started this May with the launch of the beautiful Firefox 29 and we are now off to our last day of our first month-long web design workshop series on Saturday. May is good. I have learned more about teaching the Web and I hope to improve my skills on that. Other than that, I believe the facilitators discovered a lot about themselves too in terms of teaching and we really hope to improve our workshop series program in the future. We received one hell of a huge good news and I am looking forward to take advantage of that opportunity in accomplishing my goal in improving how we teach the Web. Good luck to me!
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If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
2013 was a huge transition period for me. People and habits had to be let go, people who stayed with you got to be appreciated, a lot of realizations came and acceptance was made. 2014 is the time to move on.
Hence, I started the year with a very productive community planning with the awesome Mozilla Philippines community leaders! It will be my 3rd year as a Mozilla Rep now and I am looking forward to spending more time with them this year, especially because I have graduated from college. We have defined our goals for this year and we got so many plans about how we can further improve the community’s awesome performance last year. I am so excited to execute our plans especially on our education and women empowerment aspects that I am directly part of. Plans include getting more involved not only with tech communities but also social groups as well, to aid in our goal to teach the web to more web and non-web users.
And after my 6-month experiment of handling my own money by reading a lot of finance tips, trying a lot of expense manager apps and computing all there is about income, I have finally devised my financial system that fits my lifestyle, thanks Expense Manager app!
On the day job side, we have set our projects for this year, which made me more excited about the job than I used to last year because at last, I grasped the basics of how the company works and how my job is done. Also, I have an outlook of what to expect unlike last year where I aimlessly do tasks assigned to me that I don’t really understand the rationale of. Now, I just have to get my PC reformatted from Windows XP to something not phased-out and has drag window functions useful to my job. Windows 7 will do, please. Haha. Seriously, I can’t get anything much done when I have a lot of loading and freezing times. Those waiting times induce procrastination. 🙁 Windows XP is like, wow I can’t even remember the last time I used it before I got this job.
So yeah, cheers for 2014!
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My birthday was kinda sad because I didn’t receive a birthday surprise that I have been wishing for (haha). But my birthday week was a blast! We played laser tag and had a generous serving of katsu on a Friday night and I had a fun weekend with the MozPH team in Laguna. Since I think I am not in-charge of creating an official blog report on the website regarding these events, I’m going to blog about my personal accounts! HAHA.
Maker Party U-belt
The birthday week started with a MozPH event, originally set on August 21 but moved due to the typhoon. I made a blog post about it here. Here’s my fave shots from that event:
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