July 2020 Awardees: The Chameleons of the New Normal

by Girlie Joy Gumapon &  Princess Empleo

Chameleons. Cold-blooded reptiles who are, most of them, known to have the ability to change colors by adapting to their environment.  This 2020 has been somehow a challenging battle because of the sudden route to #TheNewNormal. The rise of an unknown enemy which is the pandemic has taken its toll, and our mental health is being relentlessly tested to the ends until we breakdown, and eventually, give up. But, that’s the complete opposite of what happened to our awardees. Instead of losing their unique colors, they became adaptive to change.  They were able to camouflage and adjust to new conditions at their own pace with their own simple coping mechanisms. Are you excited to know how they did it? Let’s find out how they became the most resilient tutors for the month of July 2020.

Mary Laef Pestaño

This young lass has always loved to write journals and collect anything that reminds her of something that happened in her life (movie tickets, ID’s, name tags etc.) Also, she likes to take pictures, watch movies, play video games, and to travel because it’s the only thing that keeps her soul alive.

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

This year is the toughest year so far. Flights have been cancelled, plans have been postponed and many more. Still, what I’m looking forward to is this pandemic to end so that we can all have a normal life again. We just have to keep on praying for better things to happen.

1. How does it feel working from home?

Working from home is kind of tiring for me because I work beside my bed and it feels like there’s no boundary between work and home, I can’t easily go outside because it’s not safe,  but nonetheless, I am still grateful because I am still earning money despite this pandemic.

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

For the past six months, everything was new for all of us. We can’t do the things we used to before this pandemic. Before, after work we can go to places just to relax but now? We cannot just be safe. Working from home is new to me, but I am learning to love it. I am trying out new hobbies like cooking and exercising to not feel bored. We just have to look on the brighter side in every situation because all will be alright in time. Keep safe everyone!

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

The first thing I do in the morning is to listen to music to make me fully awake and make my bed. Next, I set up my things for work. After that, I take a bath. Finally, to have breakfast to start the day right.

4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

I feel honored in receiving this award from the company. Thank you for appreciating my efforts in this job. I will continue to do my best. Arigatou!

Tanya Besinga

This enthusiastic lady has been a consistent awardee for the past months. Now, it’s time to know more about her.

1. How does it feel working from home?

It is definitely challenging yet relaxing in a way. There are a lot of challenges that I have encountered while working from home and at the top of my list would be finding a stable internet connection all throughout. Yes it’s challenging but I actually like to work at home because I feel safer and more relaxed. I wouldn’t have to wake up that early and I could lie down on my bed during my break time.

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

It’s fine for me because I have always loved staying inside my home and being with my family long before this pandemic. I could now watch movies or lie down on my bed during my free time. Plus I get to help my mother clean the house or prepare food for my family.  Don’t get me wrong, I still miss going outside whenever I could and having the freedom of going anywhere with my friends but I guess we have no choice but to accept that this is the new normal now.

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

Nothing really special. I usually wake up just in time for the morning huddle and in between that I try to squeeze those extra minutes preparing myself for my first class.

4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

I am usually the type of person who gets anxious if there are a lot of people staring at me so this time I am happy because it is done virtually.

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

I really am hopeful that this crisis would end soon so that we could go back to the office or do gestures like hugging your friends, shaking hands and a lot of simple things that we took for granted before.

Stephanie Gerodico

This meek yet smiling girl loves watching movies and listening to music. It might sound common but it is really what she does at home. She enjoys it a lot when she’s alone and just blasting music through the speakers. 

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

Something I look forward to this year and next year is for my family to have good health. I couldn’t ask for more.

1. How does it feel working from home?

Working from home is very relaxing. If I sleep late, I can wake up 40 minutes before my shift starts. I can also avoid the dangerous environment outside. I think I can still count with my 10 fingers the time that I went out since this pandemic started.

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

Since starting the WFH set-up last March, nothing much really changed in my daily routine. I seldom go out before so staying indoors is not a big task for me.  I admit some of #TheNewNormal guidelines don’t make sense to me. For example, the motorcycle barrier which resulted in me riding a “motorela”, with people I don’t know, instead of riding on my sister’s motorcycle which I think is safer. During the time that this was implemented, I can count in one hand the times that I went out. I usually ask my sister to run errands for me. So far, that is the hardest part of adapting to the #TheNewNormal ’cause I can’t do errands on my own and I get frustrated when I have to repeat my instructions to my sister or my Dad.

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

I usually wake up around 6:30 but I get up at 6:40 . The first thing I do is to turn on my laptop then go to the bathroom then go back to my laptop to answer surveys and prepare for my classes. See? very fast. HAHAHAHA.

4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

I was not really expecting to receive an award and I was shocked when TL Jule announced it in our GC. It was surprising and I feel blessed because despite all the things that’s happening, I still have a reason to strive more. I am proud of myself.

Elaine Jean Pacana

This bubbly young mom really likes listening to music, watching short documentaries, and funny videos. These help her set a good mood for the day. And if she has enough free time, she reads a book and/or cooks.

1. How does it feel working from home?

It really feels safer and convenient, however, mightily challenging as well. Diverting my attention from what’s going on at home while working really requires a lot of focus and a peaceful mind set to survive the day.  It’s quite tough to separate work from home, I always remind myself to be as professional as I can be all throughout my entire working hours so that I can meet my student’s expectations from me. There are pros and cons of this new norm but being diligent no matter what the situation is, will really go a long way.

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

Spending more time with family, communicating with friends online, reading books, listening to music, and watching movies really does magic during this time. It somehow helps me forget reality and sets a happy mode everyday. ^_^

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

My day starts with coffee and cleaning, a little. I hate being disorganized and seeing things just everywhere. I can’t think accurately and focus on work until I arrange things properly. Coffee is life but seeing the house clean is lifer!  ^_^ 


4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

As a low key type of person, I felt authentically happy receiving an award virtually, no pressure of smiling and standing in front of a crowd. I may not hear and see people clapping for me but I felt so much love and appreciation receiving congratulatory messages personally, it really means a lot to me. Some things are worth celebrating silently. <3 

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

I used to be a pessimistic person, but this crisis we’re facing taught me to see the silver lining of everything. I devote myself to the things that really matter for me, peace of mind, laughter, valuable relationship with others, good news, dreams, and opportunities to become a better person. I always remind myself that there’s still more to life, and this is what I really look forward to. <3

Faye Nabong

This cheerful bookworm enjoys watching movies at Netflix and reading books, mostly historical fiction, Philippa Gregory’s book to be precise. She’s also interested in photography and traveling to different beaches around the country.

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

I look forward to the time when everything will be okay and we can finally all go out without the fear of the virus. I am excited to continue traveling to different beaches around the country.

1. How does it feel working from home?

The first few months felt lonely since I am living by myself but as I eventually readjusted to this current set-up I was able to find comfort with it. Having more time alone has allowed me to be more self aware, which has led me to know which areas I have to work on and which ones I should cultivate more.

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

I usually do home activities and crafts. I’ve been taking care of some indoor plants like succulents and snake plants. It feels nice to have something growing in my place which I can take care of. I’ve also been doing some art crafts and designing as these activities helps relax my mind with the on going changes this pandemic has caused, thus allowing me to cope up with the #TheNewNormal lifestyle.

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

My morning starts up with a cup of coffee or tea as I would plan on activities I could do during my free time. Then I’d be preparing my breakfast. Cooking breakfast became a self-care activity for me and has become one of my favorite parts of the day.

4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

It feels nice. Awards per se, either received virtually or not, boost a workers self-esteem. It makes me feel that even with this set-up my efforts are being appreciated.

Crystel Ann Perpetua

This aspiring businesswoman has been a consistent awardee for the past months. Let’s read some interesting facts about her.

1. How does it feel working from home?

Working from home is not easy at first, especially if you are used to being out on the field before. However, this new set up is somehow convenient in a way that you can save time and money. After a while of working from home, I am now comfortable with it. 

2. How do you cope up with #TheNewNormal?

A lot of things have happened these past few months, and it saddens me that we can’t do anything about it except to stay at home. I admit that it’s hard to cope up with the new normal. I feel like everything is limited, and it affects my mental health. However, I did my best to cope up by listening to music that makes me feel better. I keep myself busy by cleaning and arranging my room. Lastly, I watch funny movies whenever I feel sad and frustrated about this pandemic.

3. What’s your workday morning routine?

I always start my day with prayer and coffee. After that, I make sure to accomplish necessary things (Pre-Lesson Survey, Report on GC). Next, I take a bath and do skincare. Lastly, I prepare my lesson schedule for the day.

4. How does it feel to receive an award virtually?

For me, receiving an award virtually has no difference at all. The important thing is that the company appreciates and recognizes its employees’ effort even with this work from home setting. I feel honored and grateful to be one of the awardees for July. I am also grateful that my efforts are appreciated.

5. Despite this crisis we are facing, what is something that you look forward to this year or next year?

I pray and look forward to better days ahead. I look forward to the healing and safety of everyone. I also hope that this pandemic will end by the end of this year. I look forward to the better versions of every individual. I hope that people will do what really matters and spend more time with our family and nature as well. Lastly, I look forward to better 2021.

The Chameleons of the New Normal

Challenges come along with change that hone people to become a better version of themselves. It can be quite overwhelming in both mental and emotional aspects of a person’s life. It’s natural to feel scared or wary of how it molds you out of the comfort zone to be stronger as time passes by. This year has taught us countless valuable things and will keep teaching us how to survive in our own ways, and at our own pace. You’ll know you’re adapting well when you look back at how well you’ve changed for the better. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the struggles will be gone if we start to adapt, but they can be our stepping stones towards the ladder of success. We are all struggling still, but let’s not stop here. Let’s give our best shot, just like chameleons, and become adaptive to #TheNewNormal. 

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