Friday, November 30, 2012

A NEW WORLD TO EXPLORE, MELBOURNE!

Just last week I arrived here in Melbourne. If you've been flollowing my life (if following is even relevant to counterfeiting the end of the world, chos!), you already know that I moved out of the Abode of Peace and moved in here in Land down under, yes, Australia.

Weeks before packing my bag and saying goodbye to my family and friends, I was preoccupied with what to bring in order to survive in Australia. With an understanding that this time of the year in Australia as said to be in summer season, I was confident to bring clothes fit for a "warm" weather. On one hand, I also brought some warmer just in case the weather slams me with a cool surprise.

I arrived in Melbourne in 21 November 2012 via Philippine Airlines. During my flight, I had mixed emotions. I'm very happy as I'll be finally pursuing what I love doing: research and academic discourse. On the other hand, I'm also emotional (and saddened) that I have to leave again my family and friends in pursuit of my dream. As my father puts it, "Yan pangarap mo so suportahan ka namin." Nevertheless, on the eve of immersing myself in a line-up of in-flight movies, I cuddled some thin pillows, prayed and hoped that everything will be alright.

I was fortunate to be welcomed with some Filipinos in Melbourne. Thanks to Hannah, a friend of my college superfriend Lisa, I met Darwin who (together with Tito Boy) fetched me in the airport and toured me around Melbourne City, instantlly. I was also treated by Tito Boy with a hefty serving of an American Breakfast at Crown, a high-end leisure and entertainment establishment in the busy streets of Melbourne city.

Apart from assisting me to do my grocery, Darwin was very generous to bring me around in the city. Imagine, I just arrived, not even replenished with a good rest, and I found myself posing crazy on the street with a backdrop of Melbourne city's appetising attractions.On the same day, I met co-PhD scholar Ayona and we all ate at Your Thai.

New house!

Grocery galore!

My Un: Monash University!

Melbourne City!
Dinner with Darwin and Ayona!

I was surprised not only with Melbourne's weather but with its artistic and modern opulence. My eyes were festooned with the order and cleanliness of the streets and infrastructures. Yes, I was just ecstatic to hop on in the Tram and train. Thanks to Darwin for orienting me with Melbourne's basics in transportation.






Few days passed and Darwin tagged me along in a thrift shop (Ukay-ukay in the Philippines) and I bought some jackets to keep me warm. Despite the jackets that I had, the cold weather was just powerfully cold especially for a newbie like me.

Days passed by and I enrolled in my University. And with a few dollars at hand, my budgetting was put (again) to the test. Positively, my 4 years and 6 months of living away from my family (I was in Brunei prior to moving in Australia) have helped me to adapt in a new territory. At least I know how to cook and I know the amount of grocery items which I can divide to last and feed me for days. Soon, I slowly coped with what's around.




Apart from the well-preserved historic buildings (the train station is 100 years old already, imagine that?), I also enjoy seeing the diversity of culture here in Melbourne.I told my friend, there's just too much to see, which I find overwhelming: from food, shops, people and street art, everything seems to be creatively yet logically placed and flows seamlessly. And so I said to myself, so this is how the "highly-developed country" operates. Imagine this: a wi-fi in a park? everyone's on iPhone? (I guess) And because of advancement and smart street designs, even those who are disabled are empowered to live normally even in a busy corner of the metro.

In the past days, I also met some Filipinos. Darwin tagged me along in the annual event, the Filipino Fiesta. In the event, I didn't only witness the camaraderie among Filipinos, the exhibition of Filipino cuisine and desserts, the showcasing of the different talents ranging from half-Pinoys and pure-Pinoys, and the (as usual) participation of Philippine-based businesses, I also got to take a sneak preview of the lives of the Filipino Diaspora in Australia. Relatively, I realized that there are a lot of Filipino organizations in Australia, which caters to various needs and interests.

With the Ates of Ati-Atihan!
 
Filipino Food


Darwin and Ayona!

Darwin and Me!
Tinikling!

With fellow scholars
Showbiz 101! With the mom of Anne Curtis!

While I may have been adjusting terribly with the uncooperative and unpredictable weather, I've also started to work on my research (slightly). As my supervisor told me, I can only write if I'm settled. Truth is, I agree with him. On a not so happy update, with finding where to live (with a budget-friendly price) and familiarising myelf on moving around the city (city-house-Uni), I get headaches as caused by such stressful adjustment in my life.

Positively, with prayers in hand and constant communication with my family, I'm slowly coping up with my the new chapter of my life here in Australia. One of my priority, of course is to finish my PhD on time (yeah, I have to as the scholarship won't cover the succeeding years!), and I have to take care of my health. On top of that, saving for my future is practically a part of the masterplan.

As of writing, I just finished presenting my paper on OFW blogging in a Colloquium here in Melbourne. I'm happy that I was able to articulate my ideas the way I'd imagined it in my mind.The audience had a good reception as well.

Now that I'm walking into a new phase of my adult life, to say that I'm excited is an understatement; I am overwhelmed yet very happy. From every morning I get up from bed, get dressed, walk and ride the bus or train, I tell myself that perhaps this is God's fulfilment of his promise to me. Seriously, I'm in awe for all these beautiful things around me. And with the richness of what's around, I'm even inspired to produce my research and finish it on time. Of course, with hardwork, lots of prayers, support from family and friends, and topped with dedication (and time management), I'll be able to survive my PhD journey.

Next week will be a new battle for me as I'll have an in-depth meeting with my supervisor on my topic. Let's see what will happen. Bring it on.

Please do watch out for the other blog that I plan to open. It's gonna be my PhD blog, which hopes to create and share knowledge on Mass Media, New Media, Migration and Communication. This blog shall be updated as this will feature the "human interest" topics of my PhD journey - places I visit, what fascinates me, encounters in the city, and a lot more.

Cheers to a good and positive life! xoxo

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