Hey y’all, just trying out Gutenberg. I think this is the most drastic change I’ve ever seen in the WordPress editor so far. Anyway, I just wanted to write about something I miss.
Don’t we miss how we used blogs before, just writing our unfiltered thoughts without the fear of being discovered by friends or worse, by potential employers through Google search? Well, I thought I missed it so I think it will also help my sanity (#adulting) to write down all the positive things that happen daily.
It has been 3 months since we moved and with the Internet finally installed you can say we’re finally settled.
Whew, Munich. Probably the first big struggle we had in our married life so far. My move to India was so relaxed, probably because one of us lived there and our countries are very similar. Where we come from, as long as you have the cash (basically anyone who has a job above the minimum wage) you can do anything possible with it. But boy, Munich doesn’t play around, you gotta be more than that. Everyone can get the cash, you have to be way creative to stand out.
Obviously, I’m talking about the desperate housing situation.
The past 2 years were the most eventful my life had been so far.
The last time I wrote here, I recently made the biggest leap of faith. At least I thought that was the biggest I can do ever. Little did I know that I will be taking more, infinitely chasing until I get used to a life of being uncomfortable.
A few months before the last post I was too comfortable for my own good. I was stuck in an office job for almost 3 years doing nothing that I feel will make sense for me in the future. I hated it everyday but for some reason I couldn’t leave. I was very active and extremely passionate volunteering for a non-profit, I thought that if I will leave that job I couldn’t volunteer anymore. My mother was worried about what was I doing in my life, spending time and energy volunteering instead of fixing my career path.
One day I just got an opportunity for a career switch and thought of jumping blindly into it. If you look at it won’t directly help with my career, it won’t pay good either and for sure I will exhausted AF. But I know that time that I want to be there, so I shut my brain and took the leap. One jump came after another, and the biggest one, which until now I can say is the biggest one that will take time for any person to comprehend: I decided to get married AND leave my home country for that person. We’re from a different race of Asian family which has their own prejudice towards other races and puts a lot of weight on the idea of marriage. And we wanted that to be settled in 7 months, which we actually did.
Now I’ve lived in another country for a year, and in 2 weeks we will be moving to a new one. Who said getting married is just about settling, buying a house, getting kids and saving for retirement? Life is short. Don’t make it shorter.
Since then, I accepted that things can magically fall into place. The only thing that you need to do is take a leap of faith. So many things happened in the past 2 years, that I realized the 3 years I spent listening to my own demons and making excuses not to leave my job was a huge waste of time. It’s sad when that dawns upon you, however, with the chase I did in the past 2 years, I can tell my pessimistic self that it will be easy to make up for it anyway.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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).