Oh hello, piece of millennial meat fresh from wearing a coveted toga- brazen and bold to conquer the world. I’ve always told people that the most frightening stage of a human being is the fresh graduate- caught in the limbo of puberty and actual adolescence. I’ve even asked recent graduates if they’re aware how the payroll system works- and none gave the systematically correct answer, proving that fresh graduates are beyond blinded by the lack of education from the tertiary system on that part. They say, it’s liberating to be finally out of their respective universities, ultimately forgetting that in the real world- there are no more semester breaks, summer breaks and holiday breaks are even & actually earned. The country’s labor code is even blurred beyond recognition, most especially by local companies who just love to overwork their staff and underpay them-“ah but we’re just a small, local company” they’d reason out.

But fret not, millennial. No one will ever figure out life, or perfect its mechanism. Life just needs to be lived, with passion and purpose & you simply just need to be willing to learn.

Don’t get me wrong- I’ve had my share of some sort of reaffirmation from a shared post via Thought Catalog. You’ll figure things out after your 25th birthday, it said. Au contraire. I thought after my fresh graduate phase many years ago, had already been enough of some personal development attributed by years of independent living and working in Manila- learning and appreciating how to walk shorter distances because you can’t pick up a cab or get dropped off just anywhere in Ayala Avenue. Or I thought I finally had my coasting years at the job I held at Bigby’s for over two years- developing, shooting, creatively directing the corporation to a more contemporary path and maximizing its potential. But no. Admittedly, individuals who allow themselves to be safe are those who live life passively- never ever knowing what they’re capable of; and I have known since before I was never that kind left to routinely work within the confinements of an office.

My recent trip to Singapore was monumental for me in more ways than one. Firstly, it was my first ever overseas trip that I paid out of my own efforts, and not a single thing was sponsored or even, given to me on a silver platter. What’s most surprising is- I even managed to get its financial capacity in a week’s time. You see, I did prepare for it months before departure but to some unfortunate circumstance, the money I allocated for it was never returned back to me- it would have been, but the company that owed me would have to make me undergo a circumstance that would be even unfair to reconsider~ it was my money out of my own labor, after all. But as I’ve told a friend, Nicole Abas, I didn’t bother following up on my refund just to avoid the stress it would come with- and an instant nostalgia of the chains that once held my feet on the ground.

In a nutshell, the universe (I will keep this post non-secular in respect to every other religion or belief you have) conspired with me. I managed to get booked by several brands; local, national and even, international, enough to finance my trip to Singapore- and even to the extent of having some extra when I arrive back to the Philippines- and, by some twisted turn of fate, enough to keep me financially stable up until today.

To add, during my entire life working as a regular employee since graduating from college- I’ve never been able to pay for an overseas trip out of my own pocket. I’ve never been able to buy a gadget on such short notice, or without the assistance of a credit card. But today, I’ve learned to live my life with a purpose– which is to create art through photographs, travel as much as I can every month and write objectively as I could- in other words, do what I love to do and earn from it- I was able to pay for my own Singapore trip, plus buy new lenses for it, too. And in living out my passion without the security of a company name attached to me like I’m chained again like I was before, I was able to book more trips out of my own pocket this year- Hong Kong, Macau and China (for the second time! Only because the last trip was during my junior year in College) this June and Dubai for my birthday this September (& hopefully, NYC this July and Florence this August for my BFF’s wedding)

My point is- dear fresh graduates, never put your security in anyone else, even in the job or position in the vicious politics of the corporate ladder. Rather, put your security in what you are capable of and being goal oriented. As a friend I told this to, asked me, “did you ever think of not pushing thru with your trip?” to which I responded with “Never. Giving up is never an option for me.” Whatever it is you are into, whatever your talent is- never give up on it just because of some attractive compensation a company is offering you to keep your flame from burning. Globalization has made almost everything with a monetary equivalent- with some hard work , determination and perseverance, of course.

Last words: don’t just get a job- get a hobby that pays.

Over and out.

Header: A day at the Flower Dome

B.) Bipolar weather in Singapore. Although, it didn’t affect much photographic potential since sunsets in Singapore are at 7:30 PM.

C.) Spotted several boutique hostels around Little India, including The Daulat, Wanderlust and Bunc.

D.) The Fullerton Hotel at Raffles have that amalgam of culture & metropolitan urbanization.

E.) Arab Street’s plethora of authentic Persian rugs (fraction of a cost than most carpets in the Philly)

F.) My hostel’s lounge was nothing short of  Tumblr goals.

G.) Mad Sailor’s at Haji Lane.

H.) Catching up with Patit Rebolos, who now works in Singapore.

I.) Sunsets at Gardens by the Bay.

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