Archive of ‘Reflection’ category

[In Her Suitcase] Work-Life Balance and Lifelong Learning with Audrey Angcos

In Her Suitcase - Interviews

In Her Suitcase is an interview section on the blog that turns the spotlight on women who inspire me, who can inspire you, and who try to create their best lives by coloring their journeys in their own unique and remarkable ways.

1970891_10152726558083763_6724644781718827015_nBefore the year comes to an end, I thought I’d publish an interview with Audrey Angcos who has been a huge part of my blogging life this year.  Audrey, like me, has a full-time job and is also a blogger.  Aside from work and blogging, she also has a few other passion projects that she does really well.  It’s apparent in the interview that Audrey pours her heart and energy into everything that she does, but what I admire most about her is that she’s grateful, real, and humble.  No wonder she’s been receiving so much blessings this year.

Read on as she talks about her cheerful journey.  Enjoy!!! :)

Thanks for your time, Audrey!  Tell us about what you do professionally.  What made you decide to pursue your job, and what is the most fulfilling part of it?

Hello! I have a full time work at the Senate of the Philippines. I work as Legislative Staff Officer from Monday to Thursday. I’ve been with the Senate for almost four years now.

I’m glad that I landed on a job that I enjoy. I have the nicest boss and officemates. and we are likeCarmel David Audrey Angcos family in the office. There are also instances when I am tasked to work for Senate-related events such as the yearly State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). These are the instances when I have to step out of my shell and interact with parliamentarians, senators from other countries, and diplomatic core groups. I enjoy the resiliency of my work. It gives me the right amount of challenge that pushes me to grow and learn more.

Now, tell us about your passion projects, i.e., the things that you do on the side.  What are they, why do you do them, and can you tell us about your journey to discovering these passions?

READING ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES
Oh, passion projects! Aside from my work in the Senate, I am also one of the board members of the Reading Association of the Philippines. This NGO helps promote literacy throughout the Philippines. I remember the time when I went to Tacloban to represent the organization. It was months after typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) badly hit Tacloban. With the help of International Book Bank (IBB), I went there to help rebuild the libraries of 25 public schools.

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It was such a pleasant surprise to know that Duke Maximillian (the first cousin of Prince Charles) and Archduchess Valerie of Austria were also part of the mission. They went to Tacloban secretly and wore regular clothes to avoid media attention.

I cried and smiled as I listened to the stories of Yolanda survivors. One of the kids approached me and told me “I miss my mother so much! Even though Yolanda took her from me, I will still do my best to make her proud by studying hard.” He then smiled and said, “I also lost my older sister who was about your age. Could you give me a hug?” That made me speechless for few seconds. It was such a tiring yet very fulfilling experience! As I handed the books to the teachers and students and saw their happiness, oh, I can’t help but thank God for giving me the opportunity to do these things.

BLOG: cheerfuljourney.com

IMG_0485I blog at cheerfuljourney.com and am a contributor at makeitblissful.com. I love writing!  Blogging is like sharing a part of yourself to your readers. It is such a delight whenever I receive a letter or an email from readers informing me how they love reading my blog and how my blog became a part of their lives. It is like communicating to friends that you haven’t personally met.

I also love supporting local entrepreneurs and local products. Through blogging, I was able to meet several entrepreneurs with different brands but all with inspiring stories to tell. It is such a privilege to be a medium for these brands to share their stories to the public.

Through blogging, I was also able to meet new friends! How great is that?!

COLLABORATIONS and EVENTS

I started doing collaborations and events this year (2015). I always have the desire to organize meaningful events. Last June, I went out of my shell as I co-organized a Blissful Blogging Workshop with Carmel, the first public Blissmakerie last September, and most recently, two Luminisce events last November and December!  It was a whirlwind romance between me an events organizing.

Audrey with Maggie Wilson, Stella Pastores, and Bea Santiago during the Luminisce Skinvestors' Treat, an event she organized

Audrey with Maggie Wilson, Stella Pastores, and Bea Santiago during the Luminisce Skinvestors’ Treat, an event she organized

There was a lot of pressure and yet, I was able to learn how to handle it and how to work efficiently under pressure. Honestly, I love the challenge of organizing events. When the event turned out well and the participants informed you that it was such a meaningful and intentional event, then that makes all the work, pressure, and sleepless nights worth it!

Are these passion projects helping you in your professional life, in any way?  How?

Yes, they train me to become more professional and efficient. I used to rely on the deadline of submission of reports. Now, whenever I receive the work, I would start doing it right away to avoid procrastinating.  (more…)

Reflections in Rome

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I was wandering around the ginormous St. Peter’s Basilica last October 5 and outside the window of some art gallery inside the church, I saw this:

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The statue of St. Josemaria Escriva, patron saint of the university I attended in college.  Seeing this instantly brought me back to 2006, one of the most trying times in my young adult life.  I was a college senior and I remember being excited about the possibility of flying to Rome for some extra-curricular project.  That trip, however, didn’t push through due to an unfortunate incident which unfolded because of my own doing.  The said incident was, no doubt, one of the most challenging, devastating, and humiliating experiences that I had to face as a college student.  It pretty much gave me my first taste of adulthood.

So I didn’t go to Rome, didn’t go on with my other plans, and back then I thought I’d never be able to go anywhere in the world and even in life.

But then a decade later, there I was, in Rome, a place I never thought I’d be able to visit in my lifetime, let alone in my twenties, and with my own money.  I felt lucky — lucky to be seeing Rome and other places in Europe but more importantly, lucky to have had people by my side when I went through that difficult time 9 years ago because really, I don’t think I would’ve managed to get through it without them.

As I relived the 2006 experience in my head, I felt overwhelmed as I remembered the people who were with me during the entire debacle.  I was PMS-ing and extra emotional so tears welled up in my eyes upon remembering the hell I’ve put my parents through, and yet at the same time, how my family, friends, classmates, some teachers, and loved ones loyally stood by me in spite of my flaws and shortcomings.  Many of them are still in my life and some of them I’ve already lost touched with.  I wanted to message all of them right then and there to say thank you but was too shy because of the randomness of the whole thing, so I said a little prayer for them instead.

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My mom, a devotee of St. Josemaria, kept on looking for the statue but didn’t get to see it.  She said I was led to that statue for a reason and she was right.  It made me look back on where I came from and made me grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.  One of them recently shared with me how he was feeling so worthless because he feels like he’s done nothing good and significant in his life.  Well, he has helped a friend in need.  To me, that counts a lot.

I’ve been too busy and caught up in my own issues lately that I’ve forgotten how (sorry but I have to use this word —) #blessed (haha) I was to have them, and that I might have neglected them in one way or another.  I thank God for each and every one of them.  They deserve nothing but true happiness.

Have you said a prayer of thanks for the people in your life today? :)

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