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Conversations with the Infra HR Team

Updated: May 31, 2023

The best of life is conver sation.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A year ago, I was reading a book called Tribe of Mentors. The author crafted several key life questions and reached out to a number of remarkable and inspirational people around the world to provide insights to the questions they related to the most. The answers and pieces of advice he received are a life hack.

On another hand, I felt that the questions are ones that you would also ask if you want to understand someone or make a meaningful connection with. In Cooee, after all, we make every conversation count. Given this month is all about knowing the Infra HR Team, what better way to introduce the team than to ask the same questions from the book?


If you could have a gigantic billboard in EDSA or anywhere, what would it say and why? (It can be someone else's quote. Are there quotes you think of often or live your life by?

JJ: If I had a gigantic billboard, one quote that resonates with me and I believe carries a valuable message is: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi. This quote reminds individuals of their capacity to make a positive impact on the world around them. It encourages taking personal responsibility for initiating change and reminds us that progress starts with individual actions. Displaying this quote on a billboard would serve as a powerful reminder to everyone passing by that they have the ability to contribute to positive change in their own lives and in society as a whole. It encourages individuals to reflect on their actions, inspire others, and be a force for good in the world.

Ziane: "Be Kind" - the world is too harsh nowadays. Yes, its normal but if we can be more kind with one another, I guess that is one step closer to world peace :>

Joyce: I'd like an LED screen and would play "Let It Be" by The Beatles on repeat... full blast!

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you've ever made? Could be money, time or energy.

Maye: The most worthwhile investment I ever made is when I knew the worth of my time. It may not be monetary, this is something you can never value money but it has a great impact for your life. When I learned to love myself, I started by providing a balance lifestyle for me. That's why having an environment with work life balance made my investment grow bigger. I am always balancing my professional work, personal hobbies and even my sleep evenly because the only person who can benefit with it is me.

Eden: One of the best and most worthwhile investments I've ever made was using my money to start a small business. Specifically, I invested in ventures related to beauty products, clothing, and other similar items.

Ely: One of the best investments I have made is to be financially wise. I have created a monthly tracker on where my money is going and I always make sure to pay myself (savings and investment) monthly. It is not about how much money you earn, it is how much money you save!

Ziane: My dog, Chichi. Emotional investment? In my free time I play with my dog and I take care of her the same way that I treat my little brother.

Dundee: At some point I invested time, energy and some money to learn photography, video editing, blogging or writing and motorcycling. I never imagined that years later, I would need all of those skills to win a travel contest and eventually be awarded with a big bike and a 100K worth of voucher. The other investment that I found worthwhile was also to learn improv theater because I learned about the power of community and shared effort and the value of teamwork. It’s true that if you wanna go fast, go alone. But if you wanna go far, go together.

JJ: One of the best or worthwhile investments I have is time. We know that we are no longer getting younger anymore so you should know what, where, and who you spend your time with. Time is finite and irreplaceable. Once spent, it cannot be regained. Investing time in activities that align with your goals and values can be highly rewarding. Let us focus on things that really matter, things that will help you mold or discover a lot more.

Roger: Time is one of the most worthwhile investments I've ever made. As a father, I prioritize allocating my time effectively. After work, I dedicate myself entirely to my family, ensuring that they receive my undivided attention. Additionally, I watch YouTube videos on financial wisdom to further enhance my financial knowledge.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

Ziane: I eat cold pizza fresh from the refrigerator? I know that it’s not weird from the western culture but my friends find it weird haha.

Dundee: I too enjoy eating something cold, like cold KFC fried chicken! KFC chicken wasn’t readily accessible when I was growing up in the province. One time, my aunt brought back a bucket from Manila and for it to stay fresh, it had to be in our refrigerator. Being an impatient kid, I couldn’t resist taking a piece from the fridge without reheating it since we didn’t have a microwave at that time. And thus, I had my first taste of KFC chicken cold fresh from our fridge and it was finger lickin’ good!

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Joyce/Dundee: Cooee Values

Eden: In the past five years, the belief, behavior, or habit that has had the most positive impact on my life is embracing independence and taking responsibility. As the eldest daughter in my family, I recognized the importance of contributing and supporting my loved ones. Consequently, I learned how to establish an online business to provide assistance to my family and myself.

Ziane: Expressing myself and self-love - I always adjust for other people. Lately, I've been taking care of myself more than others

What advice can you give to college students who are about to enter the "real world"? Any advice they need to ignore?

Roger: Whenever I talk to somebody younger than me, I always offer advice to enjoy their time as a student because the real world isn't easy. Once you enter the real world, you'll face numerous obligations and pressures. You have to be prepared because only you can help yourself, and the future is uncertain. It's important to do your best and be ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

Maye: When we flip our tassel, it cues that our journey as students end. People often told us how scary the real world is, making us the fresh graduates afraid of it and eventually scared to grow. But in my humble opinion, it should not be address as real world because the world were once in, which is when we are students is also a real world. It serves as a training ground for us to polish a better version of ourselves. Rather than saying real world, I guess the term should be "extension of the world were we are". Because when you step up to the corporate world, you will realize it is not as hard as they said it would be. Why? Because your university already mold you, what you are going to do is to continuously polish it in order to be a refine stone. This world serves as our simulator of what we learned. Do not afraid of lacking, making mistakes because these are factors that can make us a better person.

Ely: It's okay to have a standard when choosing an employer you want to work with. Remember that you will be dealing with them everyday so choose the right circle that will help you grow. Also, never be afraid to ask questions when you don't know something, it will help you learn and unlearn things.

JJ: We know that the world is constantly changing, and being adaptable is essential. Entering the real world can be an exciting yet challenging transition for college students so you must expect and embrace change from time to time, you must be willing to learn new skills and stay flexible in all your career choices. And a piece of advice that they need to ignore is the "You should be like them." You cannot avoid the fact that there are times that you are compared to someone already successful, and all you have to do is to stop comparing yourself to the success of others. Stop subjecting yourself to the timeline of others, not knowing that their journey is totally different from your journey. Always remember that you may also be successful but in your own way.

Ziane: "Don't be too harsh on yourselves" Allow yourself to accept failures and other negative emotions. It’s normal. Life is not perfect. We make our own way, we have our own pace. So focus on yourselves, take care of yourselves :>

Joyce: The real world is a test of faith. As for advice to ignore - "Do whatever makes you happy.". Because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

Eden: My advice to college students who are financially supported by their parents is to study hard. Many teenagers aspire to complete their education, but financial constraints prevent them from doing so. Seize the opportunity and persevere. By pursuing your studies diligently, you can make your dreams come true. As for advice to ignore, I would caution against disregarding the importance of financial independence and personal responsibility. While it's fortunate to receive support from parents, it's crucial to develop skills, knowledge, and a sense of self-reliance to thrive in the real world. Balancing education with gaining practical experience, cultivating a strong work ethic, and honing life skills will help ensure long-term success beyond college.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do (What kind of questions do you ask yourself or comments you tell yourself?)

Ely: For me I always focus on my deep "why", when you know the reason why you do the things that you want to do, it is impossible for you to stop. When I feel overwhelmed, I always take a deep breath. I read somewhere that if you are having anxiety, try to focus on listening to a noise for 15 seconds to distract the feeling of being overwhelmed. Pray, one of the things that remind me that I am not alone in this battle, God is with me.

Roger: When I feel unfocused, I find it helpful to take a short walk of at least five minutes. During this time, I take the opportunity to reflect on several things: why completing the task at hand is important, any pending tasks that require my attention, and how much time I have left to finish it. I also remind myself of the effort I put into obtaining this job and the consequences if I fail to fulfill my commitment. Once I return from the walk, I make it a priority to mute all notifications on my devices, as it greatly aids in maintaining my focus.

Ziane: I look at my dog. Then I feel better hahaha inner thoughts ("buti pa yung aso ko mahimbing tulog")

Which book did you enjoy reading recently? How has it impacted your life?

Maye: It's been a while since the last time I read a book but the last book I read is entitled, "I Decided to Live as Me", it is a self healing book that I read whenever I feel lost, helpless or stressed. It speaks the words I never dare to say.


So there you go folks. I hope that we are able to connect with you somehow with a little bit of our stories and ourselves. Cheers and stay well!

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