Still here

Hey, sojourner! (: It’s been months since I last posted anything. Actually, there are lots of updates that are long overdue. For instance, I haven’t written yet about my experience in the National Youth Parliament (was elected as President despite being the only minority candidate! :’) Truly, alhamdullilah!) or in this outreach I did in a minority community down south my country. It’s crazy how the first seven months of 2014 was just filled with so many opportunities to grow and reach out. Sure, it was tiring but… It was also gratifying at the same time. Though I wasn’t able to spend those months pursuing “leisure” activities (ex: learning how to bake, mastering a language etc), I still spent those months developing and engaging in worthwhile endeavors with other young leaders, national organizations and socio-civic groups. I’ve met so many people (from here and abroad), gained new friends, expanded my network and just traveled more. So far, 2014 has been truly blessed (thank you, God!)

Then, August came… Specifically, mid-August, when law school finally started! (: Yup, you read that right! I’m back to full-time studying, sojourner!!! (: Even if school’s challenging and I get lots of sleepless nights, I still am so thankful to be studying here–in the premiere law school in my country. Lots of leaders–both good and bad–have graduated from my college. They were once students too, like me! This institution is just filled with so much history and opportunity. Opportunity to grow and become better as both a scholar and servant-leader. A law degree, for me, is a means to further long-term goals of servant-leadership to a wider scale. I pray that by being a good law student, I may further gain skills and knowledge that’ll enable me to be more critical, ingenuous and skilled in the fields that I would want to pursue in the future. We can do this, right? (: EACH DAY COUNTS!

Aaaaah, sojourner! Let’s DO this! Let’s keep the drive and passion burning. Don’t EVER lose hope.

Keep moving forward! (Okay. Back to work for me. Haha (: PS: I wish all of you reading this are well, really. Peace and blessings!)


Destinations Missed: India and South Africa

They say that once an opportunity passes by, we should “always” grab it. Not all opportunities come by so easily, and sometimes they only come once.

Months before today, I’ve actively worked for achieving two specific “opportunities.” MAY 2013 was supposed to be a month of immense discoveries for me.

One opportunity that was handed out to me was the chance to travel to India, on a sponsored trip by the Asian Development Bank. I could have been a social media correspondent, who actively engaged in the discussions and who learned from the different sessions being held. I could have met several inspiring individuals and groups, and gained many worthwhile memories along the way. I could have also explored India (with some college friend/s), and could have visited these places in person:

India’s Taj Mahal (Photograph by Apratim Saha)

Agra’s Red Fort Temple (Photography by Martin Bauer)

Henna Hands (Photograph by Petra Warner)

Random memory: When I was in Malaysia last year, I met a friend (she’s from Bangladesh) who made henna art on my hand. It was a simple design, but lovely nonetheless. When I headed for the airport that night and checked-in, one of the airport crew asked me whether I just got married! Haha. I guess, since he saw my henna, he might have thought that I attended a special wedding ceremony. (Marriage? Noooo! Too young for that! Haha.) That was my first and last time to have henna on my hand. I wonder though how it would be like, to have one done by a seasoned artist in India. 

Amber Palace and Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur (Photograph by Patitucci/Aurora Photos)

The other opportunity that was also due for this month was the chance to participate in a prestigious youth leadership event. Apparently, I was the only one selected from my country. Around 26 young leaders and change-makers, from around the world have been selected to participate in this event to be held in Durban, South Africa. When I found out that I got admitted, I was definitely excited. I imagined myself attending the trip in India first, and then flying over to South Africa a few days after. I just wondered how much I could learn from this event, especially in terms of developing the socio-civic idea that I had in mind. By being able to network with more people and organizations, I was optimistic that many people could help me fuel my idea. I was also very eager to join in and be part of a bigger network of youth, who were all actively engaging in various socio-civic and political endeavors. I believe that the passion that these young individuals brim is infectious.

Of course, the thought of landing in South Africa thrilled me too. Aside from Durban, there’s Cape Town and Johannesburg–some places that I would love to see, during this lifetime.

Durban’s North Beach (Photograph by Stuart Fox)

Cape Town: From an Aerial Tram (Photograph by Roger de la Harpe)

Cape of Good Hope: Touchdown (Photo from

Cape of Good Hope (Photograph by April Badilles)

Johannesburg’s Lion Park (Photo from TripAdvisor)

Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum (Photo from TripAvisor)

The photos look amazing, right? I bet being able to see such places in person would dazzle us all the more. Imagine living through these photographs by actually being there.

Unfortunately though, I’ve let these opportunities pass. I’ve missed them.  There are many factors that poured in, making me miss these opportunities. I guess, this is not the right time yet for me to avail of these opportunities. I don’t know if I would be able to come across such offers in the future, but I still remain hopeful. Part of me believes that this isn’t the only chance that I’ll come across.

I fervently believe that in the future, once all my priorities and resources are set out straight, then I could grab hold of similar opportunities. There are others to come, I believe.

All I’ve got to do now is make sure that I spend this month well enough. I must be productive and disciplined, knowing that I’ve given up such opportunities for an important commitment that I must focus on. The drive to fulfill this commitment must be consistent and strong. I cannot let petty distractions (no matter how appealing they may be) shatter my drive to focus and deliver.

I’ve let go of these opportunities, in exchange for a lone commitment that I believe, upon fulfillment, will open up more doors for me.

An ENTJ Fellow

The other day, I took a series of personality tests. Two of my friends took it as well. The results were remarkable. It seemed as if each result matched their personalities well enough.  The same also applies for me. Although the descriptions are not 100% accurate, I would say that upon a close examination of my life, the results seem to generate an 80% to 90% veracity. There are some points that I question (if they really do match my personality), but again, generally speaking, the ENTJ type admittedly encompasses my personality.

Here are brief descriptions of who an ENTJ is:

“ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments.”- Portrait of an ENTJ (The Personality Page)

“leader, ambitious, hard working, dominant, prepared, hates to be bored, confident, opinionated, analytical…”- Jung Type Descriptions (ENTJ) (

“Hardly more than two percent of the total population, Fieldmarshals are bound to lead others, and from an early age they can be observed taking command of groups. *In some cases, they simply find themselves in charge of groups, and are mystified as to how this happened. But the reason is that they have a strong natural urge to give structure and direction wherever they are – to harness people in the field and to direct them to achieve distant goals.- The Portrait of the FieldMarshal Rational (Keirsey)

(*I highlighted this part because this line really strikes me so much. My second semester recently ended and in all of my classes, I found myself taking charge of all the group works. In fact, my close friends would know how at times, I would  just wonder how I ended up taking the position of directing the team and dividing the work load among my peers. I don’t have a problem leading, it’s just that sometimes, I wish that other team members also displayed that strong initiative to act and deliver. Honestly, sometimes, there are moments when I would wonder how the team would be if I happened to be pulled out. Would anyone stand up to direct? Would the project deadline be met?

Now, after reading more into personality studies, I realized how unfair it would if I also expected the same level of initiative among all my peers. Some people are good in leading, while some are more comfortable in following–or helping “behind the scenes”. Each person has a different inclination. I understand that it would be unfair to expect everyone to also act like me. However, what is fair to expect though is that everyone would work hard to deliver the project at hand. After all, it’s called group work for a reason. The tolerance for absolute freeloaders is virtually zero.)

Earlier today, I spent some time trying out different tests again. I sort of wanted to verify the ENTJ result that I have. More often than not, I kept falling into the ENTJ category. I read different descriptions available and have gained a general understanding of the “gist” the highlights an ENTJ person. Again, while I do generally agree, I have to stress that there are certain points that do not seem to match my personality.This is a particular point that I don’t seemingly fit in well:

ENTJ personalities cannot tolerate inefficiency and cannot stand those who they perceive as lazy or incompetent. An ENTJ can be chillingly cold and ruthless when it comes to such situations – they have a very rational mind and could not care less about being sensitive when that mind tells them that someone has failed. People with this personality type put rationality above everything else – and this is one of the main reasons why they are so efficient in the business world, even if such a behavior gives them a reputation of cold-hearted tycoons. In all likelihood, an ENTJ would simply shrug their shoulders and say “I don’t care if you call me an insensitive b*****d, as long as I remain an efficient b*****d”. –ENTJ Personality (

They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people’s feelings, and more than likely don’t believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people’s feelings. –Portrait of an ENTJ (

For instance, though I do prefer justice over mercy, I do believe that I’m also inclined to being a compassionate individual. I’m normally easily empathetic to the sufferings of others. I don’t exactly have that “iron heart” that seems to be common among ENTJ leaders, chiefs, or fieldmarshalls. I’d like to think that I’m also quite sensitive among my peers, especially the people I’m supposed to “lead”. Unlike what most ENTJ descriptions say, I actually do consider the feelings of the people I work with and avoid using any position of leadership in order to demean, or insensitively address them. Though there are times that I have to address the inefficiency of a person, I try my best to do this in a very sensitive manner, that is really, I’d like to believe, far from the cold-hearted and brutal aspect that normally defines an ENTJ leader.

Then again, come to think of it, I may just be defending that particular aspect because that’s how I’d like to be subconsciously more of. I do remember and acknowledge instances when I’m dauntless when it comes to addressing inefficiency, dishonesty, unfairness, corruption, or moral decadence. Yes, at times like these, I sometimes have that immense urge to correct and address these things regardless of who that person I’m confronting is–be that a friend or a so-called “rival” (not that I have any actual rival per say). Justice is justice and it must be delivered. Tolerating an unjust or corrupt act is different from being compassionate or merciful. Such values of compassion and mercy must not be corrupted so as to override the delivery of justice. If I find you guilty of something, and if objective reasoning points out that you must be reprimanded for it, then do not expect me to back down for fear of hurting your feelings. As much as possible, I will point it out, not harshly but diplomatically. I guess, in this sense, I may fit into that particular aspect of an ENTJ.

Now that I’ve elaborated on that specific trait of an ENTJ (which I find a bit contentious), I’d include here below the three lengthy personality descriptions of an ENTJ. If you’re an ENTJ yourself, or know a friend or a loved one who’s also an ENTJ, you may want to browse through these. The ENTJ is just one of the 16 personalities types, sourced from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  Of course, credits are due to the notable psychiatrist, Carl Jung, for his theories and exploration in psychological typology.

ENTJ Personality

ENTJ personalities are very charismatic, rational and quick-minded. They are meant to lead and inspire other people and there is no other type that can do this with such an ease. According to ENTJs, nothing is impossible if you try hard enough. Naturally, they rarely have difficulties convincing other people that the goal chosen by the ENTJ should also become one of their personal goals.

These leadership traits form the core of the ENTJ personality type. ENTJs can be unbelievably confident and charismatic – these qualities draw most other types like a magnet and this makes it quite easy for an ENTJ to achieve what they want to achieve. People belonging to this type love challenges, big and small, and firmly believe that they can accomplish everything given enough time and resources. More often than not, this confidence results in a self-fulfilling prophecy – where other types give up and move on to the next project, the ENTJ ploughs ahead and usually achieves spectacular results simply because of that sheer willpower.

That being said, no one can accuse ENTJs of narrow-mindedness or short-term thinking – ENTJ personalities are excellent strategists and have no difficulties crafting elaborate long-term plans, which are then executed with determination and precision. These personality traits make ENTJs brilliant entrepreneurs and business strategists – their charisma and confidence can truly shine in the business world. People belonging to this type also tend to be very dominant and persuasive when it comes to arguing with others or negotiating a deal – while this can certainly turn against the ENTJ, usually it is their opponent who gives up in the face of ENTJ’s willpower and unyielding belief in his or her arguments.

Further to the above, ENTJs are very energetic and tend to have excellent communication skills. They genuinely enjoy interacting with other people and respect those who stand up to them, especially in an intellectual debate. ENTJs have no trouble recognizing someone else’s talents and such encounters are actually very healthy for them as the ENTJ’s self-confidence can easily turn into arrogance and condescension if it is not kept in check.

ENTJ personalities cannot tolerate inefficiency and cannot stand those who they perceive as lazy or incompetent. An ENTJ can be chillingly cold and ruthless when it comes to such situations – they have a very rational mind and could not care less about being sensitive when that mind tells them that someone has failed. People with this personality type put rationality above everything else – and this is one of the main reasons why they are so efficient in the business world, even if such a behavior gives them a reputation of cold-hearted tycoons. In all likelihood, an ENTJ would simply shrug their shoulders and say “I don’t care if you call me an insensitive b*****d, as long as I remain an efficient b*****d”.

Ironically, ENTJs must have the support of other people in order to be truly efficient. They are great leaders, but even the most brilliant mind cannot do everything by itself. This is especially true for ENTJs, whose confidence partially depends on the feedback they receive from their “audience”. Consequently, ENTJs should try to pay more attention to other people’s feelings or at least pretend that they do – most mature and successful ENTJs do that to some extent, even though their sensitivity may hide a cold and calculating mind.

All these personality traits relate to ENTJ’s behavior in the professional environment. People with this personality type often believe that any expression of emotions is a display of weakness, but that does not mean that they cannot be loving and sensitive in a different environment. Feelings and emotions are definitely the Achilles’ heel of most ENTJs and they are likely to find it very difficult to reveal the emotional side of their mind. Even the most confident ENTJ is likely to feel quite powerless in such situations. People belonging to this type should make conscious efforts to develop that aspect of their personality – this does not have to affect their behavior in the workplace, but any ENTJ would benefit tremendously from combining a good grip on their emotions with that rare gift of extraordinary charisma and confidence.

To summarize, ENTJ personalities are very efficient and confident individuals who rarely have difficulties achieving what they have set out to achieve. However, ENTJs are likely to have difficulties when it comes to recognizing and expressing emotions – while such a trait can actually be beneficial in the business world, it may cause many problems in personal relationships if the ENTJ does not make conscious efforts to address this weakness.


ENTJ – The Executive

Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow

ENTJs take charge quickly and deal directly with problems, especially in situations that involve confusion and inefficiency. They provide structure to the organizations to which they belong and design strategies to accomplish their personal and organizational goals. They are ‘take charge’ people who organise their own and others’ external environments. They use their resources to find a way to meet the challenge. They are at their best in using their analytical and strategic thinking.


ENTJ children need to have goals for everything. These goals may be related to achievements such as swimming the fifty-yard freestyle on second faster than they did the previous year, getting a straight-A report card, or winning the school math contest. They seek power and control. They want to have an impact. Because of their desire to take charge, they are often leaders.

ENTJs enjoy an active and diverse lifestyle. They are likely to be in extracurricular activities and often function as the team captain, the president, or the leader. They pursue leadership roles very directly and have difficulty following others unless those individuals demonstrate more competence than they themselves have. Even then, it may be tough for the ENTJ to follow long.

ENTJs are likely to commit to a career goal early, often in their teen years. They determine their overall goals and objectives and what it will take to accomplish them. Whatever ENFJs do must make sense to them according to their logic or they have difficulty doing it.

In mature adulthood, ENTJs are often in leadership positions in their work organizations. They go after what they want with fusto. They set their sights high and work hard. Work and its related activities may become their lives. They may find retirement unsettling, boring, and difficult because it may bring with it a loss of the power that they had during their working years. Often they make arrangements so that they do not have to retire.

 Learning and Working

ENTJs see education as one of the major ways of getting ahead. They are willing to learn about the past and what is but always with the mind-set of how that information affects their future. They particularly enjoy critiquing and solving problems. They apply their logical systems view to the issues they deal with. They want to change things to fit their concept of what should be. They learn best through a variety of instructional methods, including lectures and group activities. Without variety and action in the classroom boredom sets in.

ENTJs like to debate and view problems from all sides. They are comfortable critiquing and analyzing. and do not mind intellectual conflict in the classroom. They like challenge. They may have a general study plan laid out, with test dates and paper deadlines noted. They set up a schedule and work to attain the goal within that time.

At work, ENTJs contribute a wealth of energy directed toward the goals and those of the organization. Their sense of identity is closely tied to how they carry out their responsibilities. They are curious about new ideas and theories, evaluating them in terms of their goals. They are very efficient, competitive, strategic, and task focused.

Occupations that require tough-mindedness, goal direction, and a global perspective tend to attract ENTJs. They use logic and analysis to form conclusions, to organize themselves and others, to give direction, and to take charge. Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to ENTJs: administrator, attorney, consultant, credit investigator, labor relations worker, manager, marketing personnel, mortgage banker, personnel professional, systems analyst, and other occupations that allow them to use their strategic sense.


For the ENTJ, love needs to fit into the overall picture and may become subservient to their larger goals. Love is always within the context of what the relationship is. One ENTJ stated, “I don’t allow love to course freely through my body. God forbid that it should control me rather than I control it!” Love means a match between the ENTJ’s needs and what the partner provides. The loved one is, in a sense, an extension of the ENTJ’s vision, preferably acting in a supportive, not competing, role. ENTJs tend to make rigorous demands of love. While they may fall in love easily, they maintain that love only if the other person is willing to accept the ENTJ’s directness and need for independence.

Because attractiveness is a part of our culture and an initial standard for many relationships and because ENTJs like to do better than the standard, they particularly take note of the attractive people. The often wonder if they can ‘win the heart’ of the attractive other. It becomes almost a game for them.

The partner of ENTJ can expect a hard-working and industrious provider who may use the fruits of his or her labor as an expression of love. They may not be as verbally communicative of their loving feelings as others types.

ENTJs expect to have their needs met in relationships, while maintaining their independence. When the partner can no longer do that, it is logical for them to sever ties and to move on. However, when ENTJs are scorned by others, they may feel a passionate devastation and a strong sense of loss that is seldom shared with others. However, this sense of loss and gloom generally lasts only a short period before they are ready to move on.


ENTJ – The Executive

As an ENTJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments. They are “take charge” people.

ENTJs are very career-focused, and fit into the corporate world quite naturally. They are constantly scanning their environment for potential problems which they can turn into solutions. They generally see things from a long-range perspective, and are usually successful at identifying plans to turn problems around – especially problems of a corporate nature. ENTJs are usually successful in the business world, because they are so driven to leadership. They’re tireless in their efforts on the job, and driven to visualize where an organization is headed. For these reasons, they are natural corporate leaders.

There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people’s feelings, and more than likely don’t believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people’s feelings. ENTJs, like many types, have difficulty seeing things from outside their own perspective. Unlike other types, ENTJs naturally have little patience with people who do not see things the same way as the ENTJ. The ENTJ needs to consciously work on recognizing the value of other people’s opinions, as well as the value of being sensitive towards people’s feelings. In the absence of this awareness, the ENTJ will be a forceful, intimidating and overbearing individual. This may be a real problem for the ENTJ, who may be deprived of important information and collaboration from others. In their personal world, it can make some ENTJs overbearing as spouses or parents.

The ENTJ has a tremendous amount of personal power and presence which will work for them as a force towards achieving their goals. However, this personal power is also an agent of alienation and self-aggrandizement, which the ENTJ would do well to avoid.

ENTJs are very forceful, decisive individuals. They make decisions quickly, and are quick to verbalize their opinions and decisions to the rest of the world. The ENTJ who has not developed their Intuition will make decisions too hastily, without understanding all of the issues and possible solutions. On the other hand, an ENTJ who has not developed their Thinking side will have difficulty applying logic to their insights, and will often make poor decisions. In that case, they may have brilliant ideas and insight into situations, but they may have little skill at determining how to act upon their understanding, or their actions may be inconsistent. An ENTJ who has developed in a generally less than ideal way may become dictatorial and abrasive – intrusively giving orders and direction without a sound reason for doing so, and without consideration for the people involved.

Although ENTJs are not naturally tuned into other people’s feelings, these individuals frequently have very strong sentimental streaks. Often these sentiments are very powerful to the ENTJ, although they will likely hide it from general knowledge, believing the feelings to be a weakness. Because the world of feelings and values is not where the ENTJ naturally functions, they may sometimes make value judgments and hold onto submerged emotions which are ill-founded and inappropriate, and will cause them problems – sometimes rather serious problems.

ENTJs love to interact with people. As Extroverts, they’re energized and stimulated primarily externally. There’s nothing more enjoyable and satisfying to the ENTJ than having a lively, challenging conversation. They especially respect people who are able to stand up to the ENTJ, and argue persuasively for their point of view. There aren’t too many people who will do so, however, because the ENTJ is a very forceful and dynamic presence who has a tremendous amount of self-confidence and excellent verbal communication skills. Even the most confident individuals may experience moments of self-doubt when debating a point with an ENTJ.

ENTJs want their home to be beautiful, well-furnished, and efficiently run. They’re likely to place much emphasis on their children being well-educated and structured, to desire a congenial and devoted relationship with their spouse. At home, the ENTJ needs to be in charge as much as he or she does in their career. The ENTJ is likely best paired with someone who has a strong self-image, who is also a Thinking type. Because the ENTJ is primarily focused on their careers, some ENTJs have a problem with being constantly absent from home, physically or mentally.

The ENTJ has many gifts which make it possible for them to have a great deal of personal power, if they don’t forget to remain balanced in their lives. They are assertive, innovative, long-range thinkers with an excellent ability to translate theories and possibilities into solid plans of action. They are usually tremendously forceful personalities, and have the tools to accomplish whatever goals they set out for.