Sunday, September 15, 2013


It was in June when I last posted an entry in my blog. It’s already September. It is obvious that a lot of “events” put me in a blogging “coma”. Today, I am ending the “curse” of my writing hiatus. I, yours truly, would like to once again build an intimate relationship with you, my dear readers and followers. I have lots of stories to tell and I can’t wait to share it, like, now.

Winter is over. Spring has officially started two weeks ago. However, the weather in Melbourne is absolutely “bipolar”. It keeps on changing on an unpredictable and fast phase. Sometimes it’s warm and most of the time the weather shifts to a cold one. Then again, I just got used to it. So to cope with Melbourne’s “bipolar” weather, I’ve already imbibed the practice to always check the weather app in my phone before leaving the house and I never ever forget to bring a jacket or scarf in times of instant temperature shifts.

 Simultaneous with Melbourne’s erratic weather is the milestones in my journey as a PhD student. I’ve been living (and surviving) here for almost ten months now. Time flies so fast and I will celebrate my first year anniversary on 22 November. Isn’t that great? Positively, in that past months, I’ve been blessed with a lot of things. There are also some “not so good” encounters that put my faith in God to the test. I shall talk about the “not so good” story in a different entry. I may be able to write a song for that, drawing from Adele’s heartache-inspired songs? Chos! In the end, I've succeeded in facing all the hurdles in my life.

I’ve been blessed for the past months. One of the biggest milestones in my life as a PhD student is when I passed my PhD confirmation, as per the panel, with flying colours. I presented in 23 August 2013. It was a make or break day for me. I really couldn’t imagine how I got through that day. Thanks to my best buddy Chenee, a powerhouse lunch in a nearby Chinese restaurant in the campus gave me some energy and confidaaaance. I knew I was prepared but it’s quite different when you’re already in the actual moment. Days before the presentation, I prepared my script together with my slide presentation. In the end, I was able to answer (I think so?) the questions of the panel (and some students). What’s interesting about the PhD confirmation is the moment when the panel asked me to step out of the room so they can deliberate and called me back again after a few minutes to reveal the result of my confirmation. It’s as if I was handed over a “ticket to Hollywood” when the chair of the panel said that I’m confirmed. I was speechless. How I wish I did jump and cried. #Kidding!

The success of my PhD confirmation won’t happen without hardwork and dedication. It was a tough journey. I almost lost my sanity...#Kidding! I guess you won’t be surprised if I tell you that I somehow lived in my office for the past 10 months. I religiously worked in my office from morning until afternoon, and sometimes late night, in order to finish what I need to read and write. Books and journals around me was my constant companion. It’s as if I became one of the office furniture. I was able to camouflage with the office chair! #Over

It was also in the past months that I got so paranoid of getting sick. I’ve been a frequent visitor of the clinic in the campus. My body was adjusting to the erratic weather and I got tension headaches, which I never experienced before. I had gallstones scare. That made me so anxious that I slept over in my friends’ place and prayed everything would be fine. Then I was missing my family and friends. I wanted to reach out to them but I was handcuffed in studying... (okay, also in dating!#lol). I was on a roller coaster ride in confronting my emotions on being alone, liking someone, and testing relationships with people. I kept on throwing research questions and matters of the heart. These intersect as I prepare for my PhD confirmation. In the end, my faith to God paved the way for me to champion the hurdles.

Despite a stressful and busy preparation for my PhD confirmation, I did not forget to enjoy what Melbourne has to offer. I deserve to enjoy life because I know I work hard. In July, I had the chance to watch the Penguin parade in Philip Island.  Thanks to Tito Bob who made the Philip Island trip happen.

I was surprised to see the Penguins. That is probably because I had a different image of a Penguin in my mind. I thought that the Penguins are “knee-high” in height. Apparently, the one in Philip Island is small, as tall as the bottled water. In the seashore, we waited for the Penguins to come out of the sea. After an hour of waiting, we heard the “quack” sound and the Penguins rose one by one. It was an amazing experience to see those little creatures walked away from the sea in groups and marched back to their “homes”. By the way, we paid 22AUD for the entrance fee.

I don't have any photos of the Penguins because cameras are not allowed during the parade. The flash of the camera may blind a Penguin.

Us with Tito Bob!

Just recently, I did “museum hopping” in Melbourne. I visited the Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum, the Aquarium Museum, and the National Gallery of Victoria. Among the four museums, it was only in the Aquarium museum that I paid an entrance fee. Students are free to enter (and enjoy) the Immigration Museum, the Melbourne Museum, and the National Gallery of Victoria.

I liked my visit at the Immigration museum. Apart from learning the migration flows in Australia and the development of migration policies, I particularly liked the idea of the “pledge.” Visitors are not only walked through the history of migration in Australia, but they are also encouraged to stop racism. I myself had the opportunity to make a pledge via putting my hand on a computer screen and encoding a few texts in support of a anti-racism advocacy.

 The Melbourne museum was stunning. I walked in at around 10 in the morning, as soon as they opened, and worked my way in. I was delighted to visit the different galleries showcasing the tales and treasures of Melbourne, and all about science and life. It was information heaven when I walked to the different galleries of the human body, insects, animals, sea life, and even on rock formations and the earth. It was the dinosaur display that “wowed” me!

It was the Penguins that made my visit at the Aquarium museum truly unforgettable. The size and look of the Penguins in the Aquarium museum was the type of Penguin that’s etched in my mind. They’re big and their feet are in colour yellow. It was “stress relieving” to see them swim and be fed.

Antiques and art masterpieces were showcased at the National Gallery of Victoria. I particularly loved the sea of paintings and jaw-dropping rare collections from different parts of the world. Actually, I haven’t finished touring the galleries. I will come back to check the Asian gallery, soon!

Apart from all of these relaxing short trips in the city, I was also busy hosting some events (for free) and I did a paid gig in July. I’ve also been active (somehow) in our Filipino students association in Melbourne. I was elected as one of the officers and I’ve recently an ASEAN Youth Summit. I still do choreography in Zumba and I do Zumba four times a week. Yeah, I’m Zumba crazy!

Pinoy Scholar Officers!
I know you all want to know and hear my “matters of the heart” stories. But I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to disclose it here. Actually, this is not the right channel to disclose personal matters, unless I want to get your attention and be a spectacle. Having said that, you may want to just follow my blog and read between the lines. Who knows, one day, I will reveal some stuff in here. But one thing is for sure, this blog will serve as an outlet to type away the growing and struggling emotions and what nots in my life. I don’t plan to become over dramatic or cheesy with what I’m going through, but sharing it may somehow save someone from hating  the feeling of “falling in love” or “taking the risk” in life. Afteralll, everyone has gone through rough times in in love, or in life in general. Let’s see how it goes.

If there’s anything that I learn (and still learning) from my journey, it’s about keeping my life on a balanced scale despite the different challenges that may come along. At the end of the day, it’s good to recognize one’s weaknesses and strengths. On top of that, the recognition should transcend to working hard in achieving one’s dreams. Although it’s still a long and challenging sojourn, at the moment, I draw my strength from my family and friends, and hopefully, soon, with a loving and caring, partner. I deserve someone better. Someone who is not "busy!" #Hahaha

Super thanks for my friends in Melbourne, I'm alive! #hahaha

With BFF Eden!

With Monash Best Buddy, Chenee!

With my nami-miss na super friend na si Maan with Chenee!

On a funny banter, a friend told me, “You may get two “P’s” in Melbourne.” I asked, “PhD and what?”

My friend: “PhD” and “Partner!”



  1. Replies
    1. Rachel, kailangan balanced life! Pero for now I don't think I'm ready for a relationship. I will finish my PhD first and hopefully live with my partner! Chos!