Posted by: nastypen | March 15, 2007

The Worst Decision of My Life(?)

I just took a look at the calendar. It has been a month that I am unemployed. I am still getting used to the fact that I have no longer a stable income, much more a relatively huge income like the one I got from my last employer.

I had clothing allowance. They gave me meat for Christmas. the 13th month pay was given a month before Christmas. It was all good. Well, no, not really. But I am sure some of my colleagues think of me as foolish as having flung that away.

I admit I panicked. I woke up heaving that I am jobless. That what have I gotten myself into. That I should have been more patient in that job.

I got to be interviewed in the past month. I was interviewed by this woman who promises that if I do good in her agency, she’ll send me to Bangkok. I got a call from a publishing house. Some newspapers texted me asking me if I want work. Hey, even the largest multinational ad agency scheduled an interview. I toyed with the idea of working for a call center. A college friend said he knows someone who could make me an agent. I know another who said I could be a trainer considering my comfort and utilization of the English language that I could make mega bucks. I was asked to submit my portfolio and resume to the country’s top agencies. I even fantasized that I shift gears and enter the world of SALES. That I go to the provinces and represent the billion-dollar multinational companies. I even sent my resume to an outsourcing company. I got offers to work in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai.  I had a job waiting for me in the States.  Every other day, I get a text message saying that there is a job opening that I should look into.

Most of the job openings teether to the path that I end up back in the cubicle and perhaps be like this monster:


No. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be those sad and lonely people who validate their rxistence through their job performance, tenure and paycheck. I have had enough of that life. This is the very reason why I resigned. I am more than a box in the goddamn organizational chart.

But I did apply to this one job opening that I found out on the verge of my resignation.

I sent my resume, transcript of records and cover letter. It took them a month to answer.

I applied to be a teacher for Humanities II (Art, Man & Scoiety) at the Unversity of the Philippines in Manila. Fulltime means tackling 12 units. That’s four classes. This beats the 9 to 6 grind. Perfect location, too! Near the National Library, Museum and Archives. There was no opening at the University of the Philippines Diliman, so I just snagged this chance.

I was told that I could be a professor at the College of Fine Arts. I have waited years for that offer. I got a text about being a sub while this professor goes into maternity leave. So, that is not really my ideal situation.

Besides, teaching humanities II is perfect. I get to share my love for art in a varied collection of people. The UP Manila campus is generally known for its science and health courses and I am sure most of them do not give a rat’s ass about the arts. How can you tell Pharmacy students that paintings are not things to hang onto your walls with? How can I tell them that Beethoven is more than sound you here when you are put on hold in some phone lines?

Besides, being fulltime istructor is ideal beacuse I will have time to paint and research.  I will not have these chances in any high-paying jobs that milk the employees’ life and vigor.  And, no, I do not see the wisdom of partying hard because you work hard.  Of course, I will still work hard but a “slow down” pace.


I was never….NEVER this nervous for a teaching demo/job interview. I am usually calm and collected. Not this. I woke up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. I was castigating myself why am I so worked up over the teaching demo when I would routinely speak to students before (Once, to over 700 in a gymnasium).

I was pretty honest at the panel. I did not mouth words of propaganda like a fresh graduate brimming with idealism. I was very realistic and practical.

They asked, “How can you teach art in this community where majority of the population is into the sciences?”

My answer: “I don’t have a grand scheme of things to make them be at awe at art. This is just a chance for me to let the students take another and different look at art.”

One asked, “So, you’re an artist. Are you moody?”

My answer, “I detest that stereotype of the artist being the angry outsider. If you want to be an effective artist and have real change in your art, you participate in society. that talk of some artists like ‘leave me alone I’m an artist’ is so masturbatory and juvenile.”

Can I join Miss Universe now? hahhahahaha

You are now reading the blog of a bona fide member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines Manila. IT FEELS GREAT.

I don’t know what the details are just yet. All I know is the salary is going to be the shittiest in my life. I won’t escape stress. There’s always a great chance that I will be overwhelmed. I’m now a government employee and a massively underpaid one at that. I now join my sister who is a human rights lawyer for the Commission on Human Rights, my parents who work for the Department of Labor. But, I am the first one in the family to teach at a University. To think this university has some of the most intelligent students in the entire country, too.

My mother groaned at the prospective that I will teach. She has been cautioning me against this path for years. She would rant, “You know how much teachers get paid? From the public school system, too?!?!?! You were planning to join the government, why not join the Department of Foreign Affairs and you could be an ambassador someday. Do you know how much is the allowance of an Ambassador?!?!? What will happen to you when you teach?!?”

She’s right, you know.

Hookers in Pegasus get more cash in just a couple of leg moves in a night than what I will earn in a month. The UP system, especially the arts departments, are one of the most ignored sectors in the UP Budget allocation. I will be working for a thankless job. My salary will not even reach half of what I used to earn.

This could be the worst decision of my life.

If that is so, then why did I jump in exaltation and shed tears of happiness when I got in?

I’ll see you in class.



  1. I told you so, Tim Robbins. Wait for me with that big shiny boat. And it’s Morgan Freeman. 🙂

  2. teaching… good!
    shitty salary… bad!

    congratulations and good luck.

  3. I wish you all the best! The pay may not have been the greatest during my stint as a UP english teacher, but it was a very educational and interesting time for me. Whatever happens, it’s a feather in your cap that you’re going to be part of the state university. 😉

  4. this is so cool! i’m so happy for you!

  5. You jumped in exaltation because although the new job is thankless, it let’s you be YOU in its totally. No need to subdue your love for painting anymore. No more pretenses either. People think that there’s no career in the academe, and they are wrong. There are conferences to take and travel, scholarships that are just waiting for you. All this and more are the perks that you’ve always wanted and dreamed of. It’s not the end of the road, man. It’s just a new destination that’s filled with uncertainty. Don’t worry, you’ve already got good company in me.

  6. Congratulations CHONG! I know you will be a good professor.

    Goodluck! “kung saan ka masaya sumige ka”

    Miss You SIr Chong!

  7. this is so cool! i’m so happy for you!!

  8. congratulations, darling! you’re happy kasi noh. All I remember is what Cheche Lazaro said to me when she spoke in one of the events we organized (was starstruck), always go for what will make you happy, if you do this, you will never work a day in your life. As a fellow educator and former professor, MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. God knows there are lots of people who don’t get it. I had a rude awakening before that it is because of me and my methods that’s why half of my students were failing. I believed in the Socratic method of discourse and man, you wouldn’t believe how frustrating it was for me! basta it is up to you to make things work. the good thing about teaching is there’s power attached to it. you are going to affect someone’s life and make change happen by provoking minds. so, since you have this power, costume is very important. hahahahaha! luv yah heaps, mare! do yo thang, gurl!

    hi, blas! 🙂

  9. congratulations! i hope you enjoy ur new endeavor heehee
    wow ate me is here! 🙂

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