Sunday, January 6, 2013

IT'S 2013 AND WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO!

Yey! It's my first post of the year. Thank God, I've finally had the time  to update this blog. As you all know, my schedule has been so tight for the past weeks (I guess yours too) because of the holiday season. Positively, despite being away with my family and friends, I'm able to celebrate Christmas and welcome 2013 with a bang!

Speaking of a "bang," well, last week, I posted my New Year's resolution. Upon review of what I listed, I can say that everything's achievable this year (really? like diet?). One of my priorities for this year is to "basically" and "must" get my confirmation for my PhD Candidacy. At the moment, I am (same with first year PhD Students here at Monash) in a Probationary status, and so I'm labelled as a "PhD Student." Once I get my confirmation, I'll qualify as a PhD Candidate. And as they say, that's the tough and rough part commences. But since I'm still on the probationary status, it's better (as recommended by my supervisors) to settle down and read as much as I can. Of course, once my candidacy is confirmed, yeah, well, uhm, okay, let's see.

Apart from alloting time for research and reading. Imagine, I have to read (although in "selective" reading approach) a minimum of 10 books, which I have to synthesize and present to my supervisor as part of my research, I've also been busy looking for a place to move in. I already have a room which I rent at the moment. Unfortunately, it's pricey. And for a scholar like me, who has to pay some investments back in the Philippines (but at least I have savings, but still!), I am obliged to save more. Good thing, I already found a place (near the University) and it's clean, budget-friendly and yeah, homey!

On the other hand, the reason why I'm budgetting my stipend from the University is that I would like to go in the gym to keep myself fit. Well, thanks to the campus gym, (well not sure yet as I haven't checked other fitness hubs) I can (hopefully) get a cheaper rate. Actually, what I want to do in the gym is more or "more" cardio workouts. I can do some lifting (but not much as I have scoliosis) and yes, my all-time fave, to dance (Zumba! Yeah).

Meanwhile, I called St. Francis Catholic Church last week and I told them that I'm keen on joining the choir. Positively, the guy over the phone (with a welcoming tone) told me that I can "join" by the end of this month, January. Isn't that cool? Honestly, I'm so dying to sing (in a choir or solo or in band). Imagine (not), I've been singing (most of the time) whenever I'm on a shower. Yeah, it's a way for me to vent out my "performer's" frustration.

Over the past weeks, I've been also busy "volunteering" in a local radio station here in Melbourne. The station is 92.3 3ZZZ Fm. It's an indigeous radio station which allots air time to different ethnic groups and nationalities in Melbourne. The one that I'm part of is the Filipino Show which airs at 11 PM every Sunday. To date, I've already been "anchoring" as a guest DJ, uhm, thrice! And by the rate we're going, and my interest about sharing my knowledge and "humor" on air, I wish to be part of the show every Sunday. It's also a good training as my in the field of media and communication.

On a brighter side, what's even cool, we're now planning to improve the show. And in my mind, we're thinking of making the show youthful, vibrant and interactive (informative). And so, I have to think of segments and approaches to fill in the segment. Currently, we have "Hot Tub Diaries" (an existing one) which tackles "hot" topics (not necessarily about love). And yeah, I'm called "Dok Ben Tumbling" in the show.

Unimaginable, I've been in Melbourne for one month and two weeks already. Applause! And in a span of six weeks, I can say that I've already fell in love with Melbourne - the culture, the diversity, the people, tourism, media, and "openness." Apart from hanging out with fellow Filipino Scholars, I'm so delightful to share to you that I've been meeting new friends and acquaintances. I'm also thankful to those Filipino families here in Melbourne who are very kind and warm in having us (the Filipino scholars) in their celebrations especially during Christmas and New Year. In fact, I (like everyone else, the scholars) highly appreciate the gesture.  They've met us once (thanks to Darwin for the intensive networking) and they've invited us in their humble abode. Honestly, I'm overwhelmed and really thankful for that.
My Barkada in Melbourne: Janhart, Ayona, Me, Gippo, Aloy and Darwin!

Welcomed 2013 at Docklands!

Kuya Bob's Treat to Pinoy Scholars at Lake Eildon and Mt. Pinninger

Christmas at the Ramirez Residence!
New Year with Tito Rey!

The way I see it, kindness is an infectious (and a positive and effective reinforcement) trait in some of the people that I've met in Melbourne. In fact, without their kindness (especially Darwin, the "Kuyas," Ben, Leo, and my friends), I won't be able to adjust and settle in Melbourne, the soonest I thought. Imagine, in six weeks, I was able to familiarize myself with the transportation system, visit tourist spots, identify where to get budget-friendly items, and yeah, to feel at home despite the thousand miles of being away from my family. And with care and support around, there's no other way to give back but to spread and share that kindness. And so, I set in my mind (and heart) to help newcomers in Melbourne. Speaking of that, I already started by touring around Cheenie (Filipina), an incoming  MA Tourism Student at Monash.


Welcome Dinner for Cheenie (During Aloy's Send Off!)

Despite my busy schedule, I can say that I'm able to balance everything - social life, study sessions, research, and going out. I am also happy that I'm progressing with my research (been reading a lot and soon write!). On one hand, I'm looking forward to more travels this year - travel in Australia, of course. I guess, apart from exploring the city, traveling would be great reward to myself. And yeah, I'm turning 31 this year. Although I'm thinking of having a costume party, I'm also pondering on (as I mentioned) travelling. But for the mean time, I'm still working on my budget and time for my PhD.

I believe that 2013 will be a great year for me ( even bolder and fabulous than my 2012). In 2012, I was showered with blessings. And I'm also hoping that the same level and amount of blessings and guidance would be granted (with God's mighty hand). And come to think of it, apart from my candidature, I'm excited to find a special someone this year. Oh yeah, this is something that I've "never" talked about in my blog because I'm inferior when it comes to "love talk?" lol. But seriously, I'll "try" to share my "romantic" encounters in my blog, which I guess you should (Take time, ok) watch out for. For example, well, uhm, the latter part of the year was intense, but it was great though. I learned and I actually enjoyed the ride. So for this 2013, I'll be more patient and smart. Nevertheless, if it does not lead to a relationship, friendship would be fine. And so "Dating" is critical. hahaha. Imagine, me? Earvs? talking about such stuff?  Surely, 2013 will be an exciting year for me and for everyone! But I know you all love me and so you'll love (no questions asked) me for who I truly am. On a positive note, I've realized that I'm a versatile and focused person that I can actually shift my mind from being so serious with my studies and suddenly become so sweet with someone.

Anyways, I guess that's it for now. I just took a break from reading piles of journals. I'm gonna be back again reading (as usual) books and journals tomorrow as I'm targetting to work on my paper this week. On a positive note, I am going to "The Great Ocean Road" on Saturday with fellow Filipino scholars. I'm excited about it.  And yeah, it's my Father's birthday on Sunday!!!

Looking forward to an exciting and fabulous 2013. This is the year to make things happen - PhD Candidacy, you'll be mine! Fight! And love life, lezz do this! Cheers!

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