Sunday, August 13, 2017

5 Bible Verses for your Board Exam Review

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Are you reviewing for a professional licensure exam in the Philippines? Or are you taking a college course that requires you to pass a state board examination to practice a profession? If you are, you may be feeling nervous. You may be uncertain about whether you have what it takes to pass. There is pressure from your teachers, school, family, and friends to pass the exam.

You may consider it the most difficult exam of your life. No wonder Filipinos always try to pray to saints, visit churches, and even buy lucky charms and trinkets that we believe may help us pass. We try to study in good review centers but most of us pray earnestly for passing and also ask others to pray for us.

I felt the same when I took the board last 2015. I was just a new Christian then, but my faith was so strong that I believed it would be possible with God. I was already confident since I knew my own capacity and I understood the subjects of my course well. Still, I needed more effort in studying because its easy for me to be lazy, and even the slightest negative comment is enough to affect my studying. I was confident in my abilities, but I knew it wasn't enough. So I humbly asked God for wisdom and guidance.

I realize now that we not only need outstanding faith during the board exam, but we must also pray after the exam and the new challenges of professional life. I admit that after the board, my faith weakened and I often didn't know what to do when faced with challenges.

Now that I myself teach review classes for those who will take the board, I always keep in mind to pray for the test-takers. Here are some of the Bible verses that gave me strength and inspired me to study even if I didn't feel like it.

James 1:5-9, Ask God for wisdom

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."

Exodus 14:14, God knows your battles

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Isaiah 41:10, God is always with us

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Matthew 7:7-8,  Ask in faith

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Job 28:23-28, True Wisdom

I recommend reading the whole chapter 28 of the book of Job, because I think it is a beautiful description of God's works and wisdom.

“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

I'm sure there are many more Bible verses in the Word that can give you strength. I hope you also find time to read the Bible even if you are busy with studying during this time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Searching for a Soulmate

Image source: Launchora, where this essay was first posted
What really is a soulmate? This is what Elizabeth Gilbert says from her book Eat Pray Love:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life...”
I read in a book somewhere that it is damaging to believe in the concept of "soulmates" - the idea that out there in the billions of people in the universe, there will be one perfect person ideal for you, who will love you forever and never hurt you. When you meet, it will be destiny working.

Realistic dating says that you have to 'kiss a lot of frogs' before you get to the prince. That you should go out and meet a lot of people before you find 'the one'. Not a perfect someone, but someone compatible who also has flaws. In a sense that's practical too, as it would give you a chance to know a person well. It would be a nightmare that you end up marrying the wrong person you thought you knew but actually is a different person.

I'm past twenty yet I still haven't been in a 'relationship' and I look uninterested in anything that has to do with love. My teenage years passed by with a few hopeless crushes but nothing drastically romantic. I would like or love a person from afar without ever talking to them. I fantasize and idealize them in my imagination, but I freeze at the idea of actually having a real relationship or even just simple friendship with them.

Now I'm in the middle of my twenties, seeing teenagers more experienced in love than I am. I have seen many friends in many failed relationships, not only ending in heartbreak but in unwanted pregnancies and emotional scars. In a way, I'm glad I've been 'spared'.

I guess it was in being always the dreamer, not the one dreamed of - always loving but not the one beloved. My heart would pseudo-break when I thought they were finally looking at me, when in fact I'm just something annoying that's blocking their way to another girl. I would rather feel nothing than the green-eyed monster of unwanted jealousy over nothing.

It is weird, the need to be loved and yet the fear of it. Always wondering if there will come a day when someone will appear who will also share the same feelings with me. The feeling that time is running out, I'm growing older, and others around me are together while I run around the crowd alone.

I love being alone, too, though. They say that its when we finally love ourselves for what we truly are, is when our dependence to an outside object or person ceases. I find that the missing piece in my heart that I was looking for is my own acceptance of me.

I'm still a hopeless romantic, dreaming about the unexpected moment when my soulmate appears. He may or may not be real, but hope I will know it. The world of illusion will blur around me and he will be the only clarity. Even in that one moment, probably, is enough to be forever.

For the meantime, I will learn to truly love myself, for real. I still can't do it completely, and I'm collecting tiny coins of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-respect in the fragile coin bank of my heart.

It will not be someone else who will fill up the broken spaces to make me whole. After agonizing over the missing person who will finally love me unconditionally, I found out the hard way that it was myself I was waiting for all along.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Online Registration for PLAI-WVRLC Regional Seminar-Workshop and Librarians’ Summit 2017

If you are interested in attending the PLAI-WVRLC Regional Seminar-Workshop and Librarians' Summit 2017 on September 8-9, you can now register online through this link (Google Form).

For your convenience, I suggest that you register online. Once you pre-register, your name will be on our list and processing your registration during the event will be faster. Don't forget to pay your PLAI annual dues!

CPD units were applied for this program and we're expecting many attendees.

Here are the seminar details:

PLAI-WVRLC Regional Seminar-Workshop and Librarians’ Summit
8-9 September 2017
West Visayas State University, Iloilo City

This seminar-workshop aims to identify, build capacities of librarians/paraprofessional librarians/LIS students to become competent information professionals.

Specifically, it aims to:
1. Critically discriminate, evaluate, and retrieve information from various sources.
2. Identify reliable/authoritative references against fake sources.
3. Design library programs/activities/instructional materials to enrich the users’ skills in identifying and utilizing reliable information sources.
4. Empower librarians with the importance of Continuing Professional Development.
5. Conduct regional screening for National Book Week celebration.

In view of this, PLAI-WVRLC is cordially inviting you to participate in this two-day event. Rate are as follows:
P1,200.00 – PLAI Members
P600.00—BLIS students

Registration fee is inclusive of 4 snacks, 2 lunches, kits, and certificates. We are inviting some of the most respected personalities in the profession. A member of the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians/CPD Council will be with us to answer queries regarding CPD and other matters regarding the profession.

The officers of PLAI-WVLRC do look forward to your coming to this event.

See you there!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Sunday Currently | 06

I was sick for a week. I started on antibiotics last Monday and inhaling Salbutamol. I knew I was going to get sick because I've been staying up late for many consecutive nights. I don't want to seem like "Look I'm so busy" but despite having academic honors, I am not a very organized person and my problem for years has been procrastination. Here are some of the 'roles' I'm playing and I admit I'm overwhelmed.

  • Teaching one subject for college undergraduates for the first time
  • Handling the Review for the Board Exams for those who will take the Librarians' Licensure Exam on September
  • Graduate school with two subjects: Research and Statistics
  • Being on the committee of the Social Work Department's project on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking - I'm the writer of one of the modules
  • I'm the Secretary of the Western Visayas council of PLAI (Philippine Librarians' Association), and there's a major regional seminar on September and its a big role with many responsibilities involved - and we must make the technicalities smooth for everyone especially librarians who will attend the seminar
  • Being involved in church and an upcoming new commitment as a small group leader and engaging new people in church
Sometimes I just look at the bulk of little tasks to do and I end up not doing them at all, and I'm ashamed to call myself a librarian (a licensed one at that) and look at all the paper and clutter I'm accumulating. Sometimes I push myself to work and instead of focusing I need to tackle the mess first.

Don't get me started on teaching. I like it but there's a pressure - you need to know more than the students and the expectation that I'm the board topnotcher is overwhelming... I shouldn't let it affect me and I should do what I can. I just need to learn to do things earlier, especially my own readings and studying. 

I installed SelfControl for my laptop so I can block distracting social media sites when I'm working. It seems that most of my days is facing this screen. I hope I make some progress this Sunday. Sorry that I'm complaining here, but I also need to make a change. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Upcoming PLAI Seminars for Librarians in West Visayas

Since the CPD Act of 2016 had been approved and the points system started this July 2017, attending seminars for CPD points is a must for librarians. Here are two events by PLAI (Philippine Librarians' Association, Inc.) this year you shouldn't miss: PLAI-WVRLC's Regional Annual Seminar in Iloilo City on September, and the PLAI National Congress in Bacolod on November. Details:

PLAI-WVRLC Regional Seminar-Workshop and Librarians’ Summit
8-9 September 2017 at West Visayas State University, Iloilo City

This seminar-workshop aims to identify, build capacities of librarians/­paraprofessional librarians/LIS students to become competent information professionals. Specifically, it aims to:
1. Critically discriminate, evaluate, and retrieve information from various sources.
2. Identify reliable/­authoritative references against fake sources.
3. Design library programs/activities/­instructional materials to enrich the users’ skills in identifying and utilizing reliable information sources.
4. Empower librarians with the importance of Continuing Professional Development.
5. Conduct regional screening for National Book Week celebration.

In view of this, PLAI-WVRLC is cordially inviting you to participate in this two-day event. Rates are as follows:
P1,200.00 – PLAI Members
P600.00—BLIS students
Registration fee is inclusive of 4 snacks, 2 lunches, kits, and certificates. We are inviting some of the most respected personalities in the profession. A member of the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians/CPD Council will be with us to answer queries regarding CPD and other matters regarding the profession. The officers of PLAI-WVLRC do look forward to your coming to this event.

For more details and informtion on CHED and DepEd memos, check out the official Facebook group of PLAI-WVRLC and the Facebook event page for this seminar.

PLAI National Congress 2017

21-24 November 2017 at SMX Convention Center, Bacolod City
Draft Program:
Online Registration:
Facebook Page:
Requests for DepEd Advisory, CSC Announcement, and CHED Memo are being processed. PLAI Congress 2017 is also being applied for as a CPD Program.

Check out PLAI's official Facebook page for more details

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rough guide to Library Tours: tips for Library Science students

If you are a Library Science student, whether in the graduate or undergraduate degree, a library tour might be part of one of your subjects. In my undergrad BLIS, our tour for the Management subject was in Cebu City. I decided to take a graduate degree in Library Science, and in my first year we toured around libraries in Iloilo City and notable university libraries in Manila.

If you are in the Philippines, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) now has stricter policies regarding educational tours due to some recent accidents involving students killed during travel and during their tours.

The proposed tours for the subjects must be approved by CHED first before the school year. This is the reason we had a difficult time securing permits for our own tours (even local ones), but we still asked permission from school authorities. We took their advice and travelled on our own risk since we are in graduate school anyway.

Though, these strict policies also apply for graduate school. During our tour to Manila, the Tanay Bus Accident happened and CHED issued a moratorium suspending all tours. But since all our tickets were booked, we decided to go because the tickets would be wasted.

Though with the strict CHED policies, library tours are very important in library science education. If we study libraries, it is obvious that we must visit and learn from actual libraries and working librarians. We can learn from tours better than if we just learn through lectures and books. If we only learn from our own school library, our learning is limited.

Library tour is also a good way of benchmarking. This is where we try to see new library technologies and research if these are also applicable to our own libraries. I learned a lot from visiting libraries about the latest technology libraries use. Different libraries also have different ways of doing things and we can learn from them as well.

Library tours are important, and for Library Science students to get the most out of it, we must plan them well. Months before the proposed tour dates, you must have already planned almost every aspect of your tour. Your classmates or tour group should have planned about plane tickets, travel, hotel bookings, and other practical things. Permission from your school approving the tour and also approval from the libraries you will be visiting should be secured beforehand. You can't predict problems you will encounter in these important communications.

Here are some tips to help you minimize problems as much as possible. They might sound obvious, but often we procrastinate on them and they might turn to problems later on. Often, these tiny conflicts escalate to disagreements among your classmates. This is based on the problems I've seen that pop up during tours.

- Prepare a general budget. Assign people or committees for the travel arrangements, communications, food, and some tokens for the librarians thanking them for their time and effort in touring you in their libraries.

- Prepare a general itinerary, and it must be flexible for unexpected delays or cancellations.

- This is from my own experience: promo flights may be tempting, but I suggest that if you can afford a daylight flight, do so. Our last tour in Manila was hell for my anxiety, our flight was midnight and due to lack of sleep I couldn't concentrate on the places we were going to! I found it a waste, because no matter how hard I try, I need actual sleep and rest. Trying to stay up for more than 12 hours straight and unable to rest in planes and vans - I almost lashed out and I felt very weak by the end of next day. Library tours should be fun and not become health hazards. This is a lesson, if you have your own preferences that's better for your being, you could have your own arrangement separate from the group. Make the tour a good experience as much as possible for yourself.

- Familiarize yourself with the policies of your school or university regarding educational tours. Securing permissions can take time and often have many requirements (waivers, approval signatures from the teacher, coordinator, dean, vice presidents, and maybe even the principal or president). If your administration says no and there is a good reason they are not allowing it, then maybe its better to follow than risk it. The school is trying to avoid liabilities if there will be unforeseen accidents.

- Don't forget securing permissions from the schools or libraries you will be visiting. Try to get their contact details from other librarians or through their websites. Different schools also have various policies and lines of communication. As for me, I arranged most of our Manila tour through e-mail and the librarians have been very helpful.

- Since most of us didn't have enough budget for the library tour, we solicited a few donations. You may be uncomfortable with this, but it can be a great help as long as there are no questionable deals going on.

This is quite a long list of reminders, but first we must also follow the policies set by the school and governing authorities like CHED and DepEd. We must make these educational tours as safe and fun as we can. They are great educational experiences if we prepare for them well.

Friday, July 28, 2017

In love, or in "limerence"? When infatuation turns to unhealthy obsession

Image source:
In the book Enduring Love by Ian McEwan, a hot-air balloon falls from the sky one beautiful morning when everyone was enjoying picnics in a park. In an attempt to save the children in the balloon, someone dies. In this critical moment of death, the protagonist shares a momentary but eternal smile with another stranger.

The old science writer living with his fiance got unwanted attention from the male stranger who turned into an unwanted stalker. Then his life started going to hell. The stalker claimed that the other guy was in love with him, when in truth, he had no feelings for him at all. Still, the other person was living in a world of delusion - interpreting the other's rejection as a sign of deep love.

The book describes the stalker as having a mental disorder - while the story is fiction, the disease is real - De Clerambault's Syndrome. It was named after a French Psychiatrist who had treated a delusional woman who thought that the King George V of the UK was in love with her. She constantly tried to sneak in the palace and interpreted random things as 'signs' of the King's love for her - even the pattern of the clouds and how the curtains in the castle was set in the windows that day.

This disorder is also known as erotomania, and Wikipedia defines it as is "a type of delusional disorder where the affected person believes that another person is in love with him or her. This belief is usually applied to someone with higher status or a famous person, but can also be applied to a complete stranger." Some cases of stalking (and the occasional violence that occurs along with it) can be attributed to erotomania.

Recently, I learned of the term 'limerence' while I was researching on obsessive love. Ever been infatuated with a person who didn't reciprocate your feelings? Ever felt that its them you think about 24/7, the physical feelings are extreme, and you completely melt when that person is around? There are many words for it: unrequited love, obsessive love, love addiction, extreme infatuation. Those who 'suffered' through this realize that it 'love' isn't always a good thing.

The website defines the word as "an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated. It is characterised by the following: Intrusive and obsessive thinking about the object of our infatuation - referred to as the Limerent Object (LO) - Replaying and rehearsal of our interactions with the LO - Anxiety and self-consciousness around the LO and an Emotional dependence on our LO. Impaired functioning around our LO." Often, this is the beginning of love, but also can end in obsession if the feelings are not reciprocated.

Sadly, I find these similar to my own unfortunate experiences. While I have realized that there are many more significant and important things than an obsessive preoccupation with romantic love, when I was young I thought that I was only a complete person when "someone loves me." Which is frustrating, because it was a huge blow to the self-esteem if you're the one feeling and the relationship is largely imaginary. It took years before I realized that the only love and security you need is from God.

When we seek love too much and depend on it for our self-esteem, we are headed for trouble. Soon, we don't realize that we have become addicts to it. "A love addict’s core fantasy is the expectation that someone else can solve their problems, provide unconditional love, and take care of them. When this unrealistic need isn’t met, love addicts may find themselves feeling resentful, and may create conflict in their relationships with others." Ouch.

How do you move on from limerence if it causes you suffering? Here are some suggestions from [link].

I'm not a relationship expert, but I think everyone can relate to this. Everyone has been heartbroken in some degree, one way or another.

My own experiences led me back to myself: I was only using another person to fulfill my needs. While trying to move on, I learned the real value of myself and learned to live for me. I've learned that I need to be a whole human being before I can also extend that love for others. If I do not love myself and try to use others to fill up my emptiness, I will just become a black hole.

I think this is just an interesting thing to think about. Society is so obsessed with love and sex, and we are obsessively seeking it without questioning ourselves. We seek for love, but why do we end up in despair? As I've seen, it is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. I think we should question the concept that we really need it to live a fulfilled life. What we think of as "Love" often goes with deception, hurt feelings, and broken hearts. If we learn God's true concept of love, we learn that God's standards are different from the world's standards.
"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go." -C.S. Lewis