2 September 2016

Original Song by Grace VanderWaal ~ I Don't Know My Name

"A song about finding who you are and where you fit in" published Grace on her Youtube Channel. The original lyrics go:

I don't know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you said I'm just trying
Just trying

So I heard you are my sisters friend
You get along quite nicely
You ask me why I cut my hair
And change myself completely

I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say I'm just trying
Just trying

I went from bland and popular
To joining the marching band
I made the closest friends
I'll ever have in my life time

I am lost
Trying to get found
In an ocean of people
Please don't ask me any questions
There won't be a valid answer
I'll just say...

I don't know my name
I don't play by the rules of game
So you say I'm just trying
Just trying

I now know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say, I'm not trying
But I'm trying
To find my way

A song that made a lot of people cry and happy while watching her first appearance on Americas Got Talent a couple of months ago. It's the semi finals, the competition's getting tough but she's still getting a lot of positive comments from her avid listeners that includes me!

Grace VanderWaal (born in Suffern, New York) is a singer/songwriter who appeared on season 11 of America’s Got Talent. During her audition on week two of the show, which aired on June 7, 2016, Grace performed an original song for the judges called “I Don’t Know My Name.” She played the ukulele as she sang. After her performance, Simon Cowell called her “the next Taylor Swift” while Howie Mandel gushed that she was a “living, beautiful, walking miracle.” She was immediately sent to the live round. Since then, Grace’s audition video has gone viral. According to hollywood.com.

Her first appearance on AGT

1 September 2016

"Au Pair" is a Term for Cheap Labor No More

"Wala namang masama sa pagiging au pair, ang mahalaga masaya ka sa ginagawa mo."
-ReiJie F.
fter learning this program from a friend, I have decided to try my luck. I have been searching and understanding the concept of being an Au Pair for the past few months. According to the definition on the internet, “Au pair, which means “at par” in French, is a cultural exchange program that taps youth between 18-30 years old to live with host families in Europe and learn their language. In exchange, they have to help with baby-sitting and housekeeping chores for not more than 5 hours a day.”  This doesn’t sound too difficult at all and I thought this is something I could do since it has been my ultimate dream to travel abroad, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and yet earning a little amount of money to support my needs by looking after the children and doing light housework for my host family.

Though many think that the word "Au Pair" is a code for cheap labor, this is not enough to stop some aspiring Filipinos who would like to give it a shot abroad. Despite the horrible stories behind Au pairing, there are still success stories just like the wonderful journey of my friend in the photo who is currently travelling in Europe as an Au Pair.

"Wala namang masama sa pagiging au pair, ang mahalaga masaya ka sa ginagawa mo"she said (There is nothing wrong about being an Au pair, what's important is you are happy). Reijie (not her real name) has been a good friend to me since we were in college. Everyone thinks of her as a strong-willed person. She does the impossible things and you can never stop her. She's traveled different places around our country-Philippines and she's been to more than 10 European countries and counting. If there's one thing I've learned from her, that would be-tiwala lang kay God (trust God).

Au pairing program was apparently banned in the late 1990's and was finally lifted in 2012. In spite of the said restrictions, the number of incoming Filipino Au Pair has even quadrupled according to CFO that's why they decided to take action on the growing issues regarding bribery with the immigration officers, human-trafficking, and undocumented immigrants in Europe. Some countries, as for instance Denmark and Noway made certain agreement with the Philippines to protect Filipino Au pairs in Europe (you may check the revised July 2015 protocol on the official website of Denmark or Norway). This agreement gives  a chance to many Filipinos like me who are dreaming of working while travelling and learning different cultures including languages of their favorite places in the world specifically in Europe. Unlike before, CFO and different recognized organizations in Europe, Au Pair Network and Babaylan for example are now more at hand in raising awareness of every Au pair's rights and duties.

In my opinion, Au pairing is an incredible way of meeting the other side of your world than pure travelling and working can give. It is meant to help a young person enjoy his/her life and expand one's horizon by means of living with a local family, meeting the locals, and of course joining a language and cultural course. My plans have changed when I decided to join the Au pairing program. Today, I am writing this blog and hoping to write some more when I get to Europe.

Disclaimer: This blog entry does not intend any copyright infringement but for personal entertainment and social awareness only. If you wish to verify information mention in this entry,as for instance definition of terms, embassy protocol, official website- just google and feel free to research by yourself :)