Leaping Over Barriers

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I wrote about the sacred journey of the salmon that they are keystone species here. Salmon have to cross and leap tremendous barriers in order to reach their destination.

It’s a leap of faith.

This is a profile of Thelma Siglos inspiring others to leap over barriers. On a personal note to her family, she is grateful to her family especially her Mother, sister Ate Baby and her sister’s husband Mel for sponsoring her to Canada.

Thelma-Siglos-Recruitment-Blog-Photo“The CPA designation has given me a mindset to achieve big, hairy, audacious goals,” says Thelma Siglos. “It opened many doors and I chose to broaden my passion for service in various sectors. And as my career progressed, I love the fact that I contribute to good governance and financial integrity – work that is deeply satisfying.”

Notably, throughout a career full of opportunities, Thelma has volunteered considerable time and energy to providing opportunities for others.

Background
The sixth child of 13, Thelma grew up in Manila, Philippines. She completed a bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting at the University of the East in Manila, followed by a master of business management at the Asian Institute of Management in the city of Makati. She moved to Canada in 1981, and today works as a financial integrity consultant specializing in forensic accounting investigations. She has held this role since 2014, when she retired from her career as a manager of financial integrity with the BC Public Service Agency. She is also a recipient of the CPABC Distinguished Service Award.

Transition to working in Canada
When she moved to Canada and began seeking employment, “being ‘new,’ ‘different,’ ‘overqualified,’ or ‘lacking Canadian experience,’ were some of the comments I heard,” says Thelma. “I also encountered bias. It seemed Filipinos were seen as educated and approachable but were often stereotyped as nurses and caregivers.” This motivated her to “show that Filipinos are also excellent accounting professionals because of their adaptability, service orientation, and focus on higher education. Math and accounting have a universal logic.”

She notes, “I felt that my master’s degree in business and work in senior roles were not handicaps but tools for success, though they were not obtained in Canada. I was confident that I could showcase my transferable skills and qualifications as a good fit, given the opportunity.”

“The firm [that I first worked with] agreed to support my application for CA membership by affiliation,” she continues. “They gave me a chance to prove that I could hone my skills and training to Canadian standards, and I worked to exceed their expectations. I could not have pursued this path without their support and guidance.”

Giving back
Throughout her career, Thelma has volunteered extensively, including with MOSAIC, the Law Society of British Columbia, and the Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants of BC(AFCA-BC), a non-profit organization based in Vancouver. Her roles with AFCA-BC include serving as founding president and director in 2008, and she continues to support the association as a mentor.

As a mentor, she says, “My support is mostly called for in two things: goals clarification and soft skills enhancement. Regardless of whether you are a new Canadian or not, soft skills are essential to understanding yourself, others, the environment around you, and your responses. These skills allow people to have greater self-confidence and to be better communicators, team members, and problem solvers.”

She continues, “At AFCA-BC, our conduct during council meetings and workshops promotes awareness of business governance and regulates professional behaviour over time. As our members who are new Canadians engage in these activities, I hope they can become more resilient and enhance their soft skills for communication, creativity, and relationships. At a social level, our warm welcome and support ease the many doubts and uncertainties of newcomers. Feeling a sense of belonging and rapport with peers is a confidence booster. Seeing others successful serves as an inspiration – no matter how hard it seems now, it can be done.”

This entry was posted in Be Inspired.

Memory

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THERE ARE TWO WAYS of remembering. One is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far away.

The other way is to summon the dead past back into the living present. The young widow remembers her husband, and he is there beside her.

When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” (1 Corinthians 11:24) he was not prescribing a periodic slug of nostalgia.

~ Frederick Buckner

A Certain Smile

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Joshua Edward Siglos

Joshua Edward Spackman Siglos

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there

Last night, my family and I were looking at Josh’s photo and I said, he has that certain smile. A Mona Lisa’s smile.

Is his smile happy or sad? I would like to think that his smile is unequivocally happy. It’s not rocket science. Being surrounded by his family loving him to bits and unconditionally, of course, he is happy.

Even his eyes, the eyes will follow us no matter where we are in the room. A gaze that will make you wonder, what is he thinking? Again, happy or crappy thoughts? His thought is brilliant, a gifted mind.

We wish he is here with us to ask him: Hey Josh, what do you think of your photo? What is the meaning of your smile?

The answer will remain a mystery, more mysterious than Mona Lisa.

Josh Siglos died at a young age of 31 on April 28, 2017.

Out of Solitude

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As she looked at her own face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude“.
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Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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In giving shape my view of the world having a solitary person in the foreground suggests that it is okay to be alone but not lonely.

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All work and no rest makes a man boring. Rest he did in his three-wheeler taxi cab. Who needs money when one is too tired to enjoy life. When he wakes up from his solitude, life becomes bearable again.

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And what on earth is he doing down there alone? Fishing! Men prefer to reel a fish similar to playing golf, alone. So why do men enjoy fishing alone?  Because the fish are bigger and the stories are better with no witnesses!

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In a crowd of a million tourist, he just have to sit down with a non-verbal companion. Maybe he had enough listening, blah-blah-blah. Or maybe he is just like me observing how silly tourist really are. Or maybe he left his wife in a store shopping. Or maybe…

Ah, solitude, such sweet surrender.

My New Primary Doctor

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doctorQ: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain…good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

Well… I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride!!”

AND…..

For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

  1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans…
  5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

source: e-mail chain

1 out of my 16 personalities

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personality-test-entertainerI just found out that I will make you smile! Only Carl D’Agostino can make you smile.

Didn’t I just write about my unipolar personality for the whole week when I participated in Let’s Talk? I thought I will become as famous as Clara Hughes. Instead, my STATS flatlined!

According to this personality test, I am an entertainer with the following characteristic traits:

  • An introverted mind that determines how I interact with my environment.
  • Observant energy where I direct my mental capacity.
  • My nature is closer to 60% feeling in decision-making and coping with my emotions.
  • My tactical approach is less judgmental and more on the prospective side in work, planning, and decision-making.
  • And this is BIG, it describes identity. Identity underpins all of the above. It tested that I have no identity crisis. Meaning, I am assertive.

Huh? Really? This is so uncouth.

Go ahead. Try your personality test and let me know how accurate this is for you.

Rest

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“Rest here, quiet your mind and tune your heart, for I have much to tell you.”

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Sunrise at Mt. Beatitudes

“Blessed are the serene in spirit.
“Blessed are they who are not held by possessions, for they shall be free.
“Blessed are they who remember their pain, and in their pain await their joy.
“Blessed are they who hunger after truth and beauty, for their hunger shall bring bread, and their thirst cool water.
“Blessed are the kindly, for they shall be consoled by their own kindliness.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall be one with God.
“Blessed are the merciful, for mercy shall be in their portion.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for their spirit shall dwell above the battle, and they shall turn the potter’s field into a garden.
“Blessed are they who are hunted, for they shall be swift of foot and they shall be winged.

“Rejoice and be joyful, for you have found the kingdom of Heaven within you. The singers of old were persecuted when they sang of that kingdom. You too shall be persecuted, and therein lies your honor, therein your reward.

Kahlil Gibran on Matthew "The Sermon on the Mount"

Tetris, CareNotes and Prayer Beads

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Wall Recreated: Love is the answer

He was willing to bare all if even one person could relate to any part of his story and find strength in their family and friends, but most importantly within themselves. – Repurpose a story.

Safe. I felt safe being there. Stay. The ward is a lock-down facility to keep me safe. Mind. I didn’t mind the least bit. I don’t know where to go; don’t know where to stay. When in doubt, do nothing. Minding what is safe, I stayed, for a while.

The ward is equipped with TV, funny magazines, pool table, jigsaw puzzles, coloring books; items to keep me amused or occupied but none of these interest me. So I sat on the floor at the end of the long corridor looking out through the glass door. Here alone I played Tetris, read CareNotes and rolled the prayer beads with my fingers.

Tetris, a gift from my sister Poteet. A game she took away from my nephews. As I recall, the new computer game was causing problems that the boys were glued to it and neglecting to go outside to play the real stuff. I don’t like any kind of computer programs. I was once a computer geek in my younger days writing programs, test programs and application. It drove me crazy trying to solve someone’s programming that has no logic. But Tetris became a real stuff for me inside the ward. It helped me focus. It helped me solve problems. It helped me shape and organized my mind objectively. It helped rewire, build blocks and expand the plasticity of my brain.

CareNotes is all I can find at the Chaplain’s office. The Chaplin’s office is always closed. Never saw him, never met him, and never talked to him. The notes hang outside his office. I know he came around when there are new CareNotes. I collected them all. Dealing With Suicidal Feelings, Climbing Up From Depression, Believing in Your Own Inner Goodness, Finding Strength to Survive a Crisis or Tragedy, Making Sense Out of Suffering, Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide, Easing the Burden of Stress, Encountering Midlife, Emerging Renewed, Finding God in Pain or Illness, Walking with God Through Grief and Loss, Letting Tears Bring Healing and Renewal. CareNotes is an endless resource giving meaning to my question “Why Me?” Now, these CareNotes are my bathroom companion, at home. Good reads not just for me but as well as anyone that uses the toilet.

Prayer Beads enclosed came in a card from my other sister and she wrote: April 5, 1992. Dearest Lady, A priest in Toronto who cares deeply is giving you his personal rosary. This has been blessed and carries with it his own prayers for your well-being and that you will find it in you to pray the rosary. Lady, believe in the power of the rosary and you will be fully alive again. Love and prayers, always. Thelma.

I did not pray the rosary. I do not know how to pray, then. I carried it with me, though. I clutch it when I go to bed, never let it go. Should I wake up in the middle of the night with no prayer beads on my hand, I panic.  Searching for it in the darkroom, the beads glow in the dark and with a sigh of relief of finding it, I kissed the cross and went back to sleep. The rosary is now gone; I don’t know how I lost it. But I still go to bed with a rosary on my hand. Can’t sleep without it just like a child with a teddy bear to snuggle with to have a goodnight sleep.

My family reads my blog and provides me articles in relation to the topic that I write. My sister Carmen sent me a Report on Business at the Globe and Mail about ‘Irv’. Irv and I share a common ground: Mental Illness.

It has been a long week of Let’s Talk. Stay well and be well, Perpetua.

Words

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What is prayer?

You take words,
everyday words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.

Why?

Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
the vacuum.

With what?
With whom?
With what memory?
With what aspiration?

So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,

then it’s a prayer.

words by Elie Wiesel