CAMP L.I.F.E. 2015: Yesterday a camper, now a coach

Remembering my good ‘ole’ camper days as the campers’ Ate (ie. older sister). I was invited to become a junior facilitator in my first camp, and reminisced how I enjoyed every moment in my ability to pursue my passions through joined workshops and activities, develop my talents, learn new skills, make new friends and spend my happiest moments with them, while facing the responsibilities such as being a role model to campers, monitoring the cleanliness of rooms, taking care of buddies and serving food during meals. It was indeed worth my summer to the point that I ended up writing an excellent feedback on camp as a blog entry. I explained my reasons why the camp was indeed an enjoyable life-learning experience, while remaining contact with my newly-made friends, whom I have already realized as my “friends for life.”

I was then promoted to become an apprentice facilitator two years later. I was still known as the campers’ Ate  yet with much more responsibilities on hand to the point that I was starting to have less time for breaks and social interactions. Most of my known tasks required so much sweat and blood that obliged me to work during the campers’ regular break, and my new assignments were to co-facilitate in certain activities and workshops such as morning exercises, social skills workshop and Superhero Team Quest as room marshal. I could already feel the ‘pain’ of being a coach at that moment. It turns out that I was right when I have finally become part of the facilitator’s circle in this year’s camp, providing a more leveled-up experience than my previously attended camps.

Being a volunteer coach is not an easy job. It requires so much heavier workload and responsibilities to the point that I am having a hard time knowing when to take grooming and self-care breaks (the only breaks facilitators can have during the day which can be even less than enough), which tasks to do first, and when to finish a certain task when other tasks are piling up while I am still on the process on doing the current. I am also having a hard time following instructions especially when they are explained abruptly, yet I am still expected to understand them like they are already clear. Having eyes on camper buddies and being a role model to campers (though I have less difficulties in these) are twice as expected in a senior and volunteer facilitators compared to being a junior and an apprentice facilitators. Rules expected in a camper to follow are twice as expected in a coach to live with, as much as self-control (controlling emotions – esp. negative, adapting appropriate behavior, dealing with pressure, being responsible for own actions..) is twice as vital.

There are times when I miss being a camper and want to go back from where I started. There are times when I am so easily carried away by pressure to the point that I almost ‘cried’ (yet I thankfully did not. Anyways sorry though..). But being a coach is part of my continuous life-learning experience from what I learned as a camper (especially now that I am already an adult), the main reason of which I did not regret choosing this path especially that being a coach has been part of my dreams. I learned to be independent and responsible not only in my daily living tasks (packing my plates, fixing my bed and proper belongings, grooming myself), but also in performing the assigned tasks and taking initiatives (though I am still learning honestly speaking). I have managed to pour my creative juices onto the campers’ kit, certificate, button pin design and the camp video presentation I made, and the tasks themselves have further enhanced my creativity that I can use for both work and leisure. I have also managed to handle the pressure no matter how hard it is, as well as unbearable circumstances I have no control over. Last but not the least, I have found time for FUN. Seeing the campers performing on stage, playing games, doing morning exercises (to be honest, there was a time when I asked myself if I could join the campers’ in their morning jog, yet I realized later on that I was no longer one of them so I did not join) and participating in the activities and workshops of their choice makes me relive those good ole experiences as a camper, and I have still managed to build new friendships and interact with old friends (especially after the program) despite having little time for socialization. Looking back at the photos and videos I took had also made me relive those moments in camp.

And meanwhile..my life as a volunteer facilitator..

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As much as the campers have seen the coaches as their role models, I have also honestly considered my co-facilitators as role models in working individually and as a team. They have inspired me to be a team player both in and outside camp.

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The team behind the enjoyable life-learning camp. Kudos to all!

Further reading

“CAMP L.I.F.E 2014: The Daily Blog of an Apprentice Facilitator”

#FlashbackFriday to my first camp: Why Camp L.I.F.E. is worth your summer 🙂

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Incubus Live in Manila 2015: If not now, when?

Remembered those days when Incubus performed in Araneta Coliseum in 2011. I missed the concert unfortunately speaking, and it filled me with regrets thinking that I had finally reached the dead end and I would never have a chance to see them perform live. I never realized how wrong I had been until late 2014, when I heard that the band would once again perform in Manila to promote their new album. My concert buddy, our common friend and I leaped for joy as we heard the announcement, and we insisted ourselves that we should not dare miss the concert!!

Words cannot merely express how awed we were during the concert. Its sole drawbacks included how the band had less interaction with the audience, not only for the fact that Brandon Boyd, the lead vocalist, performed more than he talked, but also for the fact that the audience could barely relate to most performed songs as they either came from the new album or were not that popular. Going back to the brighter side, the concert is indeed worth the experience. It filled us with alternative rocking energetic vibes with the lively tunes of “Wish You Were Here,” “Drive,” “Made for TV Movie” and “Megalomaniac,” from which we could not easily recover even as we went home. Not forgetting to mention Brandon’s heavenly body with tattoos (admittedly enough).

It is most recommended for Incubus concert attendees to listen first to the new album especially when it is for promotion purposes. This makes the concert more pleasurable and worth-going to as they can relate and jive more easily to the performed tracks.

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Pictures taken during the performance  

(I apologize for the blurriness and distance)

Incubus Live in Manila 2015

March 13, 2015, 8 PM @ Mall of Asia Arena. 

City of Dreams Manila: Where Filipino Dreams are Made Of

It is not as extraordinary as its original counterpart found in Macau. It is, however, satisfying enough for both amateur and first-time international Filipino travelers, given the high-class prestige it provides to every upper-mid class passerby with its luxurious retail selling, gaming and entertainment facilities and world class dining restaurants as well as convenience, making Filipinos feel that they have been to City of Dreams even though they have never set foot in the actual branch in Macau. It incorporates three hotels named Crown Towers, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt City of Dreams, the latter of which is where the Cafe is located and where my family and I dined once at our first visit of the venue.

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Hyatt City of Dreams and its interiors

The Cafe offers a variety of dishes from different cultures with various culinary methods – the Italian (mostly pasta and pizza dishes), the Grill and Griddle (satay, kebab, yakitori..), the Asian (dimsum, Chinese BBQ, Wok, Noodles, and Rice), the Comfort and Favorites (tempura, fried dimsum, pressured fried dishes, and other fried food) and The Pastry (otherwise known as the Desserts section). The food is not bad in terms of taste yet may not be as delicious (except for the Italian food which tastes heavenly!!) compared to other fine dining restaurants and buffets (most particularly in hotels). The overall appearance, however, is presentable and satisfying enough for consumers to crave for the known dishes.

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Salad, Appetizer, Pasta & Soup Noodles at The Cafe

There is honestly so much to improve about the City of Dreams Filipino counterpart that I would personally pick Solaire and Resorts World Manila above it for both fine dining and recreational amenities. Yet, I am awfully glad that it is already attractive for a start-up established group of hotels and I am way looking forward to what City of Dreams Manila has to offer.

And meanwhile, the two other hotels of the City of Dreams..

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Nobu Hotel
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Crown Towers

For more information about City of Dreams Manila

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