If I could offer you only one tip for the future, traveling would be it. Go to a new continent and explore your own backyard. Carry the proverbial Philippine flag proudly wherever you go. Traveling will show you how much you know and how much you have yet to learn.
Losing your job could be the best thing that could happen to you, if you choose to see it that way. The more time you spend with the wrong job means less time with the right one. Sharks can be your officemates, dive guides your mentors, and the sea your office.
It’s not the number of conferences you go to and funders you meet. What matters more is how you use those connections and funds to serve the people.
Make friends with people you wouldn’t normally make friends with. They might be your next best friends.
With Lynn and Pie in Davos, Switzerland, January 2012
As your network expands, keep your oldest friends closer. They loved you before the titles and awards, when your socks were too high and you hadn’t discovered eyebrow threading. They will keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
With Mikki in Hong Kong Disneyland, February 2012
With Donna, Ma, and Abet in Skye, December 2012
There’s politics in every work environment. People will judge and people will talk. Put your earphones on and focus on doing an excellent job. Work harder than anyone you know. Submit on time. Rehearse and time your presentations. Don’t just prove them wrong, prove yourself right too.
Don’t gloat about how tired you are and how much sleep you lack like it’s a badge of honor. It’s disgusting.
Your dreams and ambitions can be overwhelming. You will get panic attacks and doubt your capabilities. Breathe. Fear reminds you that you are on to something important. But do not wait for conditions to be perfect. The only way to begin is to begin.
TEDxKatipunan: Modern Day Revolutionaries, June 2012
Evaluate the professional and personal growth that work can offer you. Do not be afraid to say no to certain opportunities. Really. It’s not going to make you look weak. Choose a few things that you can excel at, as opposed to many things you can be mediocre at.
Don’t ever let corporations and politicians turn your advocacies into commodities. Money is just money; it can be earned and raised. Reputations take years to build. Your principles should never have a price tag.
Take your vitamins, drink more than 8 glasses of water a day, and engage in physical activity. Wear paraben-free sunscreen everyday.
Enjoy being single. It doesn’t equate to being lonely. Flirt, date, and tease. (And use protection, please.)
Commit only when you’ve gotten to know someone who makes you understand the term “better half.” Relationships are complicated–that’s why there’s no “in a simple relationship” option. They need work. Swallow your pride every now and then. Learn to say sorry and learn to forgive.
Maintain independence. Whatever your boyfriend/girlfriend can do for you, you must be able to do on your own. Just much better.
Fill your life with music. Make several playlists that will serve as soundtracks to your moods and phases: Chill, Good Vibes, Kill Yourself Senti, Angsty, Roadtrip, Dance On Top of the Table, and Karaoke Queen. Share these playlists. People should never be selfish with good music.
Laugh a lot, especially at your failures.
Keep banging your head on the wall. The wall will break eventually.
And trust me on the traveling.
Original lyrics of “Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen.”