I Finally Got Promoted.

You see I’ve waited all my life… for this moment to arrive. Yes friends, I finally got promoted. *cries* Since most of you already know the story and I really don’t want to get into the details (some are already blurry anyway), I will keep this short.

I always dreaded the end of July, when promotions are released at work. I would cry and drown myself in self-pity every year since 2013 or 2014 (not sure). My heart broke each time I saw the “list” without my name on it. Eventually, I had to stop looking. I stopped congratulating others and pretended it was just an ordinary day. I learned to plug my ears and fake my smiles. Rude, but it hurt that much.

Year after year, friends and colleagues went up the corporate ladder. Some resigned and got better offers elsewhere. On the other hand, I was stuck, on the same level that I’ve been in since I first got this job.

The first couple of years were especially hard. I literally sobbed all day: after waking up, while taking a shower, during my commute (yes, even in public transport), and before going to sleep. Maybe I was immature or I might have overreacted, or my hormones were all over the place. I don’t know. Ang alam ko lang masakit.

The sadness inevitably turned into bitterness and anger. I felt the never-ending need to prove myself. To prove that I was better. That I deserved that spot.

Even though I was spiraling, I was willing to do everything to stop feeling that way:

I started with my hair. Different color: I dyed it light brown. Different hairstyle: crewcut, semi-kalbo, and even a perm, a.k.a. Cedie hair.

I joined company events. Became an organizer of sports and charity events. I met other employees (some with the same promotion stories as mine) and became friends with them.

I joined acting and theater workshops to have an outlet for my emotions. I even gained more friends and widened my circle outside work, which was a nice bonus.

I enrolled in drawing lessons to feed my damaged ego. To feel the validation of at least being good, or better, at something.

I shopped a lot. Duh.

I took voice lessons. It was way out of my comfort zone but something I have always wanted to do.

I traveled. I broadened my perspective by seeing and experiencing different places. Cliche, I know, but it made me realize that I’m just a speck of dust (or even littler) in this vast universe.

Name it, I said yes to it, I did it. Zumba, yoga, dancing lessons, networking, everything.

I also prayed a lot. I’ve memorized the Serenity Prayer and all other prayers that granted wishes. I cried each night asking God to make everything stop; I almost quit my job. I just wanted to escape everything: the insecurity, disappointment, and all of these other negative emotions. I thought of joining the others who have left company and, regardless of the risks, start over in a new environment.

I just wanted to stop feeling sad and bitter.

I just wanted to be happy.

Anyway, I didn’t resign but I transferred to a slightly different post. Little by little, I was able to move on. I focused on what my purpose was: to help people in the organization. I wanted to be of value and not just someone who aims promotions.

My various activities helped. Theater and voice lessons thought me how to recover. One bad performance won’t define me forever. I just had to do my best the next time and the next after that.

Occasionally, I still felt sad and insecure about not being promoted. Like times when people would assume that I was already holding a higher position. Or when younger and newer employees would get promoted before me. Or when people I help get promoted again and again.

I’m not gonna lie. My wounds are still healing but for the time being, I am happy and content.

My career came to a full circle in the last two years. The people I dealt with were the same people I met in either my early years in the company or in my many “extra-curricular” activities in the office. It made it easier for me to interact with them and accomplish what we were supposed to do. My job was also familiar as it was similar to my first job. The knowledge and wisdom I gained through the years helped me become what I am now. I get teary eyed when I think about it.

I guess my stars aligned this time.

Thank you to everyone who was part of this journey. Thank you.

Personal Reads

That Time I Overpaid My Phone Bill _ _ _ _ Times More

It was one of those slow Tuesday mornings. It was a Tuesday. I know ’cause I don’t pay any bill on a Monday. Kasi lalabas ang pera buong linggo. Just being careful, that’s all. Little did I know that I would make the biggest and major major financial mistake of my life.

Venus Raj
Yes Venus, it’s major major.

So like the title states: I overpaid my phone bill. “Overpaid” is an understatement because I paid _ _ _ _ more than what’s required. To add a little mystery, I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

I was paying through my online bank account. I didn’t have the actual bill so I just referred to a text message my dad sent me. I logged in and went to the bills payment module. The system sent me an one-time-password (OTP) and I input it in the site. I entered the payment details and clicked “Submit.” “Are you sure you want to proceed?” the pop-up window said. I clicked “OK” ’cause I was so sure.

My phone beeped. A text message. Hmm… I wonder who it was. Nobody had been texting me (since forever!) so it was either my telco, my bank or a mayor planning to run as senator greeting me Merry Christmas.

Personal Reads

Likes and Other Forms of Validation

Have you ever counted the number of likes your Facebook and Instagram posts get? I do but I count only those that matter.

Call it petty and shallow, or a non-existent first world millennial problem. Whatever. The number of likes matters to me. Likes of people that matter to me that is.

As a blogger, getting likes is important but whether I get ’em or not, I still need to do what I need to do. It’s good to have likers that aren’t people I know. I feel that they’re more objective and aren’t just liking because they know me or I told them so.

I may not get more than 10 likes in all the posts in my newsfeed combined but when certain friends do take literally a second give me a thumbs up, I am at peace. I get the energy to blog again. It makes me feel I have an army of supporters rallying behind. Then again, these likes come rarely.

I’m not gonna lie. I do feel sad when I don’t find their likes in my posts especially those that seemed to have “trended”. A part of me expects but I only find myself…well, disappointed. But yeah, I do what I gotta do.

In a world where interaction can be done with just a click or tap of a finger, friends don’t necessarily see each other physically anymore. And with the traffic, need I say more. The only means of letting your friends know that “yeah, I’m still your friend and I hear you.” (without messaging) is liking their posts.

Giving likes is the same as giving small compliments. Nice dress! Got a new haircut? I can’t wait for your next work.

Always be generous ’cause you’ll never know who needs ’em.

Personal Reads

My Greatest Achievement

I remember when I told my mom that I was accelerated from grade 6 to first year high school. I whispered the news as we are about to shut our garage gates. I saw her face and how it lit up. I knew she was proud and happy. Everybody was. And I also was. Genuinely happy. Secretly, of course. We didn’t have Facebook then.

I miss feeling proud of what my hard work can actually achieve. I miss the feeling of making people proud without the need to try too hard.  When I didn’t need to calculate and validate my every move. I miss crying tears of joy, being overwhelmed by happiness that you need to express it in the most ironic way possible.

My greatest achievement was when I was accelerated from grade 6 to first year high school, and it all went downhill from there. After that, everything became a competition.

My greatest achievement happened in grade 6 and it’s okay. It’s okay to hold on to that. That place in my heart and memories where I was proud and genuinely happy.

Personal Reads

Little Acts of Discrimination Hurt

Little acts of discrimination hurt. Yeah. They actually do. Especially if they come from people you care about the most. Not necessarily people who you least expect. But people you consider friends, family or maybe, something in between.

Little acts of discrimination is not exactly fatal but they are toxic in their own way. Toxic as in it slowly kills you nonetheless. It burns out that little faith you have left. Faith that keeps you believing that if you are at least nice and kind, people will treat you the same. Not differently.

Personal Reads

My Journey to Fitness

I had my executive check-up last year and some of the findings were alarming (for my age). According to the results and the office doctor, I am overweight and, I have a mildly fatty liver and borderline high cholesterol. This was considering that I neither smoke nor drink. SO, for the first time in my life, I went on a diet, began exercising, starting my first ever fitness (and wellness) journey.

My name is Gabby Paras and this is my journey…(*cue title card*).

My “Wake-up Call” Photo

January 11, 2016  

Age: 26

Weight: 172.9 lbs. (Target: 155.0 lbs by April 2016)

Height: 5’8″

Status: Single and Overweight


Why You Should Shop Online

When I was younger, I could still remember that Burger King used to have this self-service soda dispenser where customers could freely access. For some reason (I bet one of it was the abusive nature of people), the self-service system didn’t work. Eventually, like Burger King, in most fast foods and restaurants now, customers are served and sometimes, reaching to the point where the service is unnecessary. You know what I mean and we are all guilty of it. However, imagine if we live in a self-service world? A world without physical establishments. No ticket outlets, no pharmacies, no stores. Just you getting what you want and need in your own time and space. Maybe then everything will be delivered faster and more efficiently. And we could do more things that’s actually value-adding. This is our future.

online-shopping-social-mediaActually, this revolution is already being started by online shopping sites on Instagram, Facebook and your favorite online shopping sites. You browse and look at what you want to purchase. Add it to your cart. Pay online and wait for it to get delivered. That simple. Hmm…but there are still people who have not enjoyed the benefits of online shopping. Well, I’m not here to convince you totally but it’s worth a try. That is if you want to be part of the “future.” *insert music please*

These are my top reasons why you should shop online:

Art Personal



How I wished I lived the 20 something years of my life the way I lived the recent months. I used to dwell too much on the details, let the little things ruin my mood, my day and judgment. I cared too much on pleasing people who treated me differently. Tried hard to the extent that I compromised my own well-being. Well, I learned that there’s a bigger picture to be appreciated. And that the world is big and small at the same time. I learned to let go. Of people, expectations, memories and could-be’s. To live and keep on moving. #26th

Confessions of an Instagrammer Reads

Confessions of an Instagrammer #9

I cut ties with a boy who I’ve loved (and I still love) and now I’m dealing with the aftermath. Picking up the pieces of something not whole in the first place. It’s difficult. It hurts.

If only Facebook could charge me for every visit to his wall. I spend hours staring and reading his posts. Looking for hints that he misses me. Reading each line as if they are intended for me. Like he is speaking to me. Like hey, I’m miserable without you. Like I’ve created a void in his life. A small or big void, I don’t care. I just want to know that he cares.

I can cry everyday but nothing will be the same. Not the way he feels. Not the way I feel.

I have nothing left to do but move forward. There are no wrong moves, I always say. Every choice is a path we ought to take.

You take a step forward but stepping backward will not bring you back exactly where you started.

Everything is irreversible, but the future is endless.


The waves won’t stop for you.

Confessions of an Instagrammer Reads

Confessions of an Instagrammer #8

Most of the time, we don’t realize that we have changed until someone points it out. The ugly duckling did not discover that it grew into a beautiful swan until it saw itself on the water.

Over two years ago, I felt that we were too close for our own good. I was in a terrible place then and he was the only one who listened. He made me happy. I guess I also made him… happy. At least, I hoped so.  It started innocent, yes, but change has its way of ruining things.

I woke up one day and everything was different. His voice became my favorite song I longed to hear each day. His touch fed me warmth I had never felt for a very long time. His smile made me want to kiss him endlessly.

I began loving him but he simply didn’t love me back.

I wanted him to know but I was afraid to lose him. I never told anyone about my truth because I didn’t want it to be true. I even denied it to myself.

We were friends and that’s the closest I could get. I tried holding on to it. I held on to our daily routine. That every four in the afternoon, he was mine.

However, sometimes, change is just a decision people make. The beautiful swan could either decide to remain being alone or joyfully flock with the other swans.

It’s a decision to say goodbye. Goodbye.

Goodbyes are the worst. #EmbraceChange