Posts tagged ‘life’

18 February 2014

Whatever you want it to be :))

by misslampa

I came to Australia thinking I went there mainly for the degree. And to a point, this was true. Anything that had something to do with studies was always given priority (okay, almost always Ü), and the world stopped whenever assessment period came around. It was clear to me that I wanted to learn as much as I could and finish the program well and on time. So those are some of the things I made sure I did.

After reading way too many journal articles and downing way too many cups of coffee, I earn the right to rock this academic dress.

After reading way too many journal articles and downing way too many cups of coffee, I earn the right to rock this academic dress.

 

But the thing about putting your life on hold and leaving the comforts of home for a while to accept a scholarship overseas is that you can – if you choose to – turn your time abroad into anything you want it to be. I mean, you’re already going out of your comfort zone anyway. You might as well make it worth the trouble.

 

And so I learned about various education systems with classmates from all over the world. I spent hours asking questions and comparing notes after class or over dinner or coffee. Besides, I’ve always been in awe of how much you can learn if you’re willing to ask.

It won't be an exaggeration to say that no less than 5 countries were represented in each class I took at the University of Queensland.

There were always at least five countries represented in each class I took at the University of Queensland. I’m not exaggerating.

 

I got introduced to other Filipinos from all over the country who remain as hopeful about the future of the Philippines, and who are choosing to stay here despite the opportunity to earn more abroad.

Of course, you can count on me to find a way to not have to wear the baro't saya. :))

We were asked to don our national costume. But of course, you can count on me to find a way to not have to wear the baro’t saya. :))

 

I tried so many things for the first time – from something as tame as eating kangaroo or camel meat to something as terrifying as jumping off a perfectly working plane. I volunteered to teach young Aussies how to read, and I put in some hours as a research assistant, too.

I really just wanted to touch the clouds, so I jumped and did just that.

I really just wanted to touch the clouds, so I jumped and did just that.

 

I picked up good habits like running and snacking on celery sticks. But lest you think I’ve turned into such a goody two-shoes, know that I learned how to flirt with strangers and enjoy wine in Australia, too.

Hardly anyone left on the course but I because well, I’m a slowpoke like that.

 

I also felt my heart beat for the first time in a very, very long time while I was there. I’m beyond grateful, actually, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. :)

 

And I traveled. Like crazy. It’s expensive, yes, but you learn skills which will continue to serve you well long after you’ve come home. There’s time management, spatial intelligence, packing lightly, budgeting, following directions, carving your own path, being okay with being lost, enjoying your own company, living in the moment, and I’m just going to stop here because the list goes on and on and on.

Don't do selfies. Just travel with photography enthusiasts who are more than happy to take your picture!

Selfies are for amateurs. What you need to do is travel with DSLR-lugging photography enthusiasts who are more than happy to take your picture!

 

All these, I owe to the fact that I chose Australia Awards – or maybe it’d be more apt to say that Australia Awards chose me. Either way, I am very grateful not only for the last two years of my life and all that’s been epic about my time there, but also for the opportunity to come home and make a difference. Armed with a master’s degree, I know I can be more instrumental in improving basic education in this country, and in proving to the world that we are capable of greatness.

AusAID no longer exists, officially (the program's now under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). But it will always be real to me. <3

AusAID no longer exists, officially (the program’s now under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). But it will never be nonexistent for me. <3

 

I’m very excited to see exactly how the universe will make that happen for me! Ü

 

 

—-

Donna Rasalan Lampa is one proud Pinay who took up her masters in Educational Studies from the University of Queensland in Brisbane under the open category of the Australia Awards program. Months after, she remains thankful for the two-year joyride.

 

Also, shout-outs are in order for Mylene, who took that shot of me during my graduation… and for Rod, for that breathtaking panoramic shot at Kings Canyon! :)

 

And hey, if you’re keen on starting your own Australia Awards journey, click here.

 

17 September 2012

GoodVid: A traveling couple documents their encounter with Future

by misslampa

The views of Chile and Patagonia are spectacular beyond words, and the soundtrack’s easy on the ears, too. But it’s really Future’s voice that makes all the difference in this video, I think.

In this short piece that’s full of heart, we hear Future asking us to think about whether or not it is possible to find happiness in this life, and whether we’d be able to say – at the end of it all – that we enjoyed turning our time here on earth into an unforgettable joyride.

Do yourself a favor and click the Play icon. I was all-smiles and awe-inspired by the time I finished watching the video, not to mention that I was itching to hit the road again and experience something new.

Now I’m looking forward to the day I’ll find my version of that “place where time and direction don’t exist,” and to that moment when I’ll look at Future in the face and tell him,

Yes, I had an epic, enchanting, enjoyable life. And I enjoyed it immensely, thank you. ♥ ♥ ♥

—-

I found out about this video through Kenn Chua, who posted a link on his Facebook wall. This thank-you postscript goes out to him! ÜüÜ

9 November 2011

Turning Eight-and-Twenty

by misslampa

Oh, but I'd give anything to look this adorable again!

 

I know I’ll change my mind about this in a few years – like when I hit the big three-oh or when my lower spine starts giving me a problem or when my hair begins to turn gray at the roots and I’ve turned into a cougar crushing on someone eight years my junior – but for now, let me say it while I still mean it: I Enjoy Growing Older.

So on the 10th of last month, that’s exactly what I did. I turned eight-and-twenty quietly and happily.

Call it being grounded and well-adjusted or, on the other end of the spectrum, cuckoo and messed up. Perhaps I’m seeing life through rose-colored glasses because it’s been kind to me lately. Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about after all. Even as I write this post, there’s this teeny, crabby voice inside my head saying, “Growing older, you say? Duh. You’re just 28 and you think you’ve got it all figured out, eh? What do you know about growing older?!?”

Hmm. What do I know about growing older? Not much, I admit. But this year, growing older for me meant mastering the art of giving joyfully. The past year gave me opportunities to…

treat good friends to a walking tour of Intramuros

 

sponsor grades 1, 2 and 3 pads for a friend's outreach program last Christmas

 

drop no less than P100 into the offertory basket each and every time I go to mass

 

take my parents on an all-expense-paid trip to Bohol

 

teach Math and English to kids in Gawad Kalinga - Nestlé Village, Baseco

 

help a good friend produce an independent film that's so exquisite, it's in a class all its own

 

make an AVP (with siblings) with which to surprise our parents on their 30th anniversary

 

be a facilitator in a leadership convention for college students

 

But hey, one thing growing older has taught me is that I have to be just as generous to myself, so on that front, I’ve given myself lots of time to…

get started on writing for writing's sake again

 

travel alone for the first time

 

explore and experience my country: Corregidor, Taal Volcano, Zambales

Batad, Bohol, Mt. Pinatubo, Cebu

Dumaguete, Siquijor, Sagada

 

spend more time with family and friends

 

work on realizing one of my life dreams

 

celebrate the sweet life with cakes given by family and friends: Purple Oven's Chocolate Campfire, Mary Grace's Velvet Cake, Red Ribbon's Classic Chocolate Cake, Red Ribbon's Chocolate Mousse, and Cara Mia's Banana Blast Gelato Cake

 

So again, what do I know about growing older? Aside from learning how to be a cheerful giver, not much indeed. I can ramble on and on about having experienced winning and losing and trying again and all those requisite -ings one gets bombarded with too often so I can sound more learned on the subject, but what would be the point?

For me, it’s as simple as this: I love living life awake and aware and well, I can’t do that without aging so I might as well take pleasure in that, too.

And that’s how I know I’ve gotten older indeed. Because that last bit I just wrote… that’s a very grown-up thing to say, no? =p