From Accountant to Tutor, Now God Wants Me to Become an Author

MBTI Personality Types

MBTI Personality Types

“Friend, do you know MBTI? What’s your personality type?” my friend ES asked.

“Uhmmm. My MA is Psych so probably… I do not know?”

“Wait. I’ll send you a link. It’s just a 10-minute questionnaire.”

Shocks. Patola!

“BFF, duh! Of course I know that! I’m mastering in Psych… Major in PERSONALITY!!!”

Lesson learned: Too much work makes one gullible. LOL.

Kidding aside, I’m grateful I had that conversation with him. It made me see MBTI in a different light. In school it was just a speck among the loads of information we have to digest everyday so I haven’t paid much attention to it. More importantly, that convo confirmed what God has told me before — that I should write to inspire.

So where did this whole idea of writing come from? It happened one night, March 29, 2015 to be exact. While I was about to sleep, I just had a sudden idea to write a book about my learnings in life. I don’t know where that idea came from but I just felt an overpowering need to inspire people, to make a difference in the lives of others through my own little way. That idea, which I now know is called a “creative spark,” was coupled with an overwhelming sense of peace. So I knew it was from the Lord.

The following morning, I attended the Feast. I was welcomed by this tarpaulin which stood at the top of the stairs:

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I’ve read this verse a lot of times but never before has its message spoken to me more eloquently than it did that very moment. So I really took time to snap a photo of it before I walked away smiling, amidst the wonderment of other Feast attendees. Of course, I had every reason to smile. The Lord, just spoke to me!

The talk that day was Reciliency: The Power to Keep Going. During the talk, Brother RJ said, “You went through what you went through for a purpose. You are supposed to share it to the world to inspire others. Hindi yan binigay sa ‘yo para itago mo.” Ouch. So there it goes again. I was really walking on synchronicities that day. God is making sure I got His message clear. Yes, Lord. Gagawin ko na po.

2015-06-22 11.57.11When I told ES yesterday that I am the INFJ personality type (Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging), his reply was simply, “I thought so.” At least another human being confirmed my ability to counsel or inspire! But then, I am a teacher, best for ENFJs (Extrovert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging) and I am mastering in Psych, for INFJs. One is an introverted type of job, the other extroverted. No wonder about that though since I am an ambivert — I have a balance of both introvert and extrovert.

Right after our conversation, another synchronistic event happened as I came across this article about an interview with Sue Frederick:

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So that explains everything. When I was still an accountant, I felt I was missing out on something. I felt empty and unfulfilled. Because God wants me to do something else. And I’ve been through a lot of difficult trials because of that. I was on the wrong path.

I’m glad, I listened to God’s call despite what other well-meaning people would say. I’m glad God equipped me with courage and strength to be able to do what He wants me to do. It’s my life to live. And I want to live it in a way that pleases my Creator.

So help me, God.

Aim high,

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Photo Credits: 1st: imagefriend.com; 3rd: alissameeks.wordpress.com


P.S. Just when I finished writing this post, I checked my FB and was greeted with the news that a college classmate is about to release her own book! Wow! And she’s the last person you’d think that will author a book especially about investing. She was the class clown! 🙂 Indeed, with God, all things are possible. I’m next! 🙂

You Can Be a Great Writer Even Though Your English Sucks

Photo: stoneassociatessearch.com

WARNING: You would hate reading the first paragraph.


When it comes to writing, it’s always substance over form, a concept whereby transactions and other events and conditions should be accounted for and presented in accordance with their substance and not merely their legal form. This enhances…

Huwaaat???!!! STOP. STOP. STOP.

Okay, sorry. An accounting nerd possessed me. But seriously, what if I write like that? What if I use jargons or any of those alienic words I learned from my undergrad or masteral so I could impress you a bit? Or what if I write so seriously? Would you still be interested in reading my blog?

I actually considered titling this post “When It Comes to Writing, It’s Always Substance Over Form.” But then I realized it’s not something catchy, not because of the choice of words but because it’s not something that can connect to the readers.

The other day, a close friend and I were talking about the challenges we were currently going through. One of her replies struck me to the core. I was so impressed by the depth of it (or in Filipino, may hugot; in gay lingo, may “who goat”) that I told her she could be a writer. She said she would consider but I should help with editing because she’s not that confident with her english.

My student AC has the same problem. Her first language is english but her English teacher commented that she doesn’t write well. She was wondering why since her compositions were just the same as that of her classmates who got excellent grades — except that her choice of words was simple. And honestly, I disagree with the teacher. I don’t know what her criteria of a good essay are, and I’m giving her credit for being an English teacher, but I see a promising writer in my student.

© Husni Bramantyo

As a voracious reader who can even read a 300-page english novel in one sitting, I’ve seen almost all kinds of writers. Before, I used to read books or articles word per word. Now, since I can already tell right away if the author is good just by the first few paragraphs, I would just usually skim through most of them. I would just get the gyst. HOWEVER, there are exceptional writers who can make me read the whole material without my awareness. They have this writing style that can make you finish reading what they wrote no matter how long it was. What’s the adjective nga? Compelling? Wow. What magic do they have?

That’s the kind of writer I’ve seen in my student and my friend. They have the power to appeal to the emotions. And I think that’s the kind of writer any aspiring writer should aim for (including me). What’s the use of being able to use big words when the readers wouldn’t even go past beyond the first few paragraphs? What’s the use of writing when you cannot even move your readers? What’s the use of having a flawless grammar when your message wouldn’t even stay in your readers’ mind for even just a few minutes? 

Grammar is important. Coherence is important. But once you have made a touch down in the hearts or minds of your readers, these things barely matter anymore. And if you’re really not confident, ask someone to edit your material. But still… it’s the message that counts.

Substance over form.

Aim high,

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* IFRS definition


P. S. You know what? I’ve found out, most writers eventually become speakers. You can become a successful speaker, too! Find out how by clicking this link. 


Photo Credits:

1st: stoneassociatessearch.com; 2nd: © Husni Bramantyo

GUEST POST: 12 Life Lessons I Learned From 2014

NOTE: This post was from a friend’s year-end reflections. While we may already be halfway done with the year 2015 and the posting may be untimely, the lessons imparted herein are timeless nonetheless so I still think it is still worth sharing. ❤


Photo: dawatmedia.com

Every year, instead of doing a New Year’s resolution list I, find it more interesting to reflect on the things I’ve learned, experienced, and realized over the past year. I do this as a reminder to myself on how blessed I am every year and to make it more meaningful. I thought sharing it through a blog would be great. I do not expect that everyone would be pleased but, I believe some of you would be able to relate some of these thoughts to your own life. If you do, then we can fairly say that we’ve both been there, done that! So here we go. 


Feel free to comment =)


1. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.
Quitting should never be an option. Let yourself go through the hardship so you can be at your best. Always remember that Life is tough, but you can be tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.


2. Prove yourself to yourself, not to others.
The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. The RIGHT people for you will love you for doing so, and they will appreciate all the things about you that the WRONG people are intimidated by. Bottom line: Don’t change so people will like you. Be patient, keep being your amazing self, and pretty soon the RIGHT people will love the REAL you.

3. Create your life by making things happen.
Continue to make the choices that allow your life to be purposeful and fulfilling. Most people go through life letting things happen. You are different.


4. There’s no such thing as a self-made person. 
Someone believed, encouraged, and invested in you. Be grateful and be that someone for others too.

5. There’s always another level. Get There!
Believe that you can keep getting better and if you keep getting better you can be whatever you want to be.

6. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.


7. It takes some courage to stand up and speak; it takes even more courage to open your mind and listen. 
Pay attention and be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble. The people in your life often need a listening ear more than they need a rambling voice. And don’t listen with the intent to reply; hear what is being said with the intent to understand. You are as beautiful as the love you give, and you are as wise as the silence you leave behind.


8. Don’t prioritize someone who has made us just an option. 
It’s definitely OK to make ourselves available in front of the line this time. Make ourselves #1 for a change. Because whenever we say “yes” to someone else, we automatically say “no” to ourselves. Practice the skills of actively creating what we want, protecting what we value and acting decisively to change what is not working in our life.

9. I can’t brag about my love to God because I fail Him daily, but I can brag about His love for me because it NEVER FAILS!!!

10. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have and how you can bless others with it. 
Being able to give is a Divine gift in itself. Share your blessings.


11. You cannot be good enough for everybody, but you will always be the best for the one who deserves you. 
There’s someone special out there for all of us.


12. Refuse to complain. 
Complaining is just a way of not taking responsibility, justifying doing nothing, and programming yourself to fail. Complaining creates the illusion that you have done something. Instead, pour your energy into improving your situation. When you find ways to be productive and maintain a sense of optimism, you demonstrate that you are in control of your own life.

Self reflection is a good way of unlocking yourself and I say, the world needs the fullness of who you are, and it is through your experiences in life, lessons you’ve learned, places you’ve been, people you’ve met and things you’ve realized that you unfold into that fullness.

Live life to the fullest,

Emman Simbahan


Photo Credits:

1st: dawatmedia.com; 2nd: chrisfendya.com

Why Tutorial Centers Are Now Everywhere (And Why You Had Higher Grades Than Your Kids)

Photo: anorexiarecovery1.blogspot


Do you know the different types of teeth — the incisors, canines, premolars and molars? How about the different parts of a microscope, can you enumerate them or identify each part given a picture? Can you EXPLAIN their uses? 

Yes? Congratulations!!! You are qualified to tutor grade 3 pupils! 

Nope. That’s not a typo error. That’s really 3. As in T… H… R… E… E… 

You answered no? Okay, let’s try a grade 2 lesson…

Do you know the 3 branches of the government — executive, legislative and judiciary? Do you know their functions? Do you know how many senators, congressmen and justices we have?

Still no? Okay, preschool

Do you know the 7 continents and what countries belong to each? The different oceans, do you know their names? 

Ridiculous, eh? I had the same thoughts when I saw that in my students’ handouts. I was like, “Huh! Microscope for grade 3? I learned this in high school!” The lessons nowadays are already so advance!

Also, the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum posed additional challenges not only to the students but to the educators as well. Unlike before where you only had to learn biology in second year high school, chemistry in third year and physics in fourth year — now, students have to learn chunks of all these subjects (aside from general science) in their freshman year.**

Lastly… parents, never compare your grades to your kids’ not unless the grades you’re bragging*** about were after the implementation of the zero-based policy. The what??? Well, in 2003, DepEd released an order changing the computation of grades into simply “score ÷ number of items” whereas during our time (at least a decade ago 😉 ), I remember it was “(score ÷ number of items) x 50 + 50.” Wow, nosebleed.

What’s the difference?  Let’s just say that if you get 7 correct answers in a 10-item quiz, your rating will just be 70%; whereas before — drum rolls please — that was equivalent to 85%!!! Now, if you’re grade-conscious and allergic to line of 8 and below, you should only get one mistake to get even just a 90. See how difficult it is now to get grades 90 and above? (Note: I’ve heard of the new grading system with letter grades but I haven’t actually seen any of it. School teachers, what’s the latest update about this?)

Given the increasing difficulty of lessons and school challenges the students have to deal with nowadays, there has also been an increasing demand for the assistance of specialists. If before it was easy to self-study or have your parents teach you, well, not anymore. And I must add the fact that due to economic reasons, the number of housewives (who used to teach the kids) have fallen in favor of the number of careerwomen.

So don’t wonder why tutorials sprouted like mushrooms. 

And don’t look down on kids who go to tutors. It’s not that they do so because they are dumbos (the common misconception), but because school is just… hard.

Aim high,

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* DISCLAIMER: These are lessons from exclusive private schools. I’m not familiar/updated with public school lessons. Please educate me by posting your comments below.
** Now called Grade 7 under the K to 12 curriculum
*** Personally, I disagree with the practice of comparing your kids’ achievement to yours. Actually, I disagree with any kind of comparison.


Photo Credit: anorexiarecovery1.blogspot

Parents, Don’t Send Your Kids to Tutors

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At least not right away. Not because a kid got low grades in school he already needs a tutor. Just no.

As a tutor myself, I know this is like killing the profession that’s feeding me. And maybe my fellow tutors would love to kill me in return. But hear me out first.

I’m not saying you should never send your kids to tutor. What I’m saying is, you have to think first if it’s really a tutor he needs. 

I’ve seen a lot. Indeed, most of our tutees fared well when they started having tutorials. But there are cases where there seems to be no improvement no matter what we do. Not once have we handled students who we tried giving to different tutors. Teacher N even gave them the best teachers. She thought they just needed another approach. No avail. Eventually, the parents pulled them out. However, I knew that wherever tutorial center they put their kids into, the results would just be the same.

Every now and then, a student would tell me, “You have to give me high grades.”

Huh? Am I the one taking the exam? 

Parents, manage your expectations. Tutors are not magicians — that when you send your kids to us, their grades would automatically shoot up. 

I’m not washing my hands clean. But reviewing for exams is a team work of both the student and the teacher. During reviews, I give my best effort to prepare my tutees for exams. One mistake in the worksheet would earn them additional 5 questions to answer. Thus, I have a love-hate relationship with the kids. They like me as me, but they complain that I torture them during reviews. They couldn’t go unless I’m satisfied they’re ready. But at the end of it all, that’s just 50% work done. The rest is up to them.

It happens too often that no matter how good their performance has been during review, they could still get failing results. When I check their answer sheets, it frustrates me to see incorrect answers to questions that were basically the same as the ones we reviewed. They got them right during review but not in the actual exam.

Photo: haaretz.com

Why?

Carelessness.

Rushing.

Jitters. 

Taking exams does not only require mental preparedness. It also has a physical aspect to it. (How can you concentrate if you’re not feeling well?) More than that, it requires emotional preparedness —  of having the attitude of not giving up, of the ability to handle pressure. And this is the part where parents could help.

We cannot expect tutors to be able to impart these traits to the students in a short span of time. It’s a cumulation of all the values they have imbibed since birth. Teachers teach them good values too but they need your help. WE need your help.

Every now and then I encounter students who are so challenging to teach. Hours would pass and lots of energy would be spent reviewing not because they’re dumb but because of their attitude towards studies. There are students who are so smart but get low grades because of mediocrity. They’re used to, “Pwede na yan!” They do not give their best. Then there are students who always try to hide their homeworks from us just because they want to play or are just lazy to do it. 

Attitude means a lot. If they have only learned the importance of obedience, responsibility, initiative, discipline or hard work early on, parents would save a lot on tutoring fees. They wouldn’t have to pay on tutorial sessions that were half spent on learning and half spent on policing the kids. They may even not need tutors at all. Kids like that can study on their own.

This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why kids don’t do well in school. There can also be other factors affecting them — school bullies, boring teachers, tiring sked, relationship, family or money problems. But at least think about these things before hiring a tutor.

And of course, I’m not discounting the fact that the quality of tutor you hire has an impact on your kid’s academics. You might chance on a tutor who may be underqualified or is just not right for your kid. But that’s another story worthy of another post. 😉


Given that I love tutoring and I need tutees to earn a living, I don’t accept tutorial requests right away. I’m still an advocate of independence. Fellow tutors might hate me for saying this, but parents, please don’t send your kids to tutors just because you can… but because you need to. 


Aim high,

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Photo Credits:

1st: see watermark; 2nd: haaretz.com

A Message to My Readers

I made this blog mainly out of love. Through my own learnings and discoveries from being a private tutor, I want to help hands-on parents improve their teaching strategies. I want to give an ego boost to the students who may be having difficulties in school. I want to remind my fellow educators how important their profession is. I want to inspire and uplift everyone through my personal setbacks and triumphs.

Being a website born out of love and obedience to God’s call, I would like my site to be a source of positivity, inspiration, hope and of course… love. I do appreciate constructive feedbacks and I would love to hear from you. However, when commenting on my posts or on other readers’ comments, I encourage everyone to choose your words carefully and be mindful of others’ feelings. While I would still have to approve your comments, I hope you would give me an easy job — where I would just keep on clicking the approve button.

Trolls… Fantards…  Body shamers… The world of internet is already filled with negativities that giving butthurt comments seems to have been the norm. When reading blogs, I have learned to avoid the comments section as it is so rare not to see netizens fighting with each other. It’s sickening. At least, for my blog, let us refuse to take part in it.

Return hate with love. Return a nasty comment with a soft reply.

Let us make this blog a part of the rarity. ❤

Aim high,

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Photo Credit: Carrie Norton