Lately, my mind races with monthly obligations. some of which I had no choice but to hold off for months. Reason for this is simple. I had no income. I went out of my way for several years to look for stable income, but 15 failed attempts in jobs. I was at my low. I felt hopeless. I felt ravished by the interviews as they ask the same question. "Why should you be given the opportunity of this job versus other applicants?" I've answered this as best as I can only to find out out they had someone in mind and did the interviews only to satisfy the need. I guess you can I was used, but lets see how it truly made me feel.
After each interview, I felt good. I felt that I topped other candidates knowing what I was capable of providing and doing for the company or agency that would hire me. Little did I know after each failed attempt of landing a job, i started to lose confidence in myself. I fell in a deep depression believing I did not have what it takes to be on the competitive edge in the workforce. I felt small and wilted like a vegetable on the display refrigerator losing its greens to brown and slime where no one wants it anymore. I felt hopeless and so conscious of whether I am no longer the go-getter, ambitious guy who would not believe anything is impossible. I lost myself after so many interviews. I believe it was around the 8th interview where I thought I bagged it, but to find out a lesser experienced individual has been awarded the position because of a family name. It is common in the islands, nepotism reigns over non-popular political names. I was disheartened. I felt finished, a loser, a snail in the race.
My wife looked at me in my most vulnerable state. She encouraged me and said, "you need no one to help you. You will eventually land something. Don't give up!"
I needed that support and kept looking forward to a new day. Application after application, it was not easy. Interview after interview eating me up inside. I told myself to put my heart in faith and let our Lord guide me. My 16th interview, almost 2 years later, the lord answered my prayers. I would believe he sought out where I would be best to offer more in what I am capable of doing. As of today, October 13, 2015 I was offered the position with the CNMI Head Start as their new Environment, Health and Safety Facility Manager. I am stoked and eager to start moving mountains again! Thank you dear Lord! I love you!
So for over a year since my last blog post, I felt lost, felt diminished, felt unworthy of being a man in my own home, felt undesirable, felt all the worst possible feelings that ate me up inside.
What I did was hide my feelings the best I can. Held it in. built up self pity and fell into my own world of depression once in a while. I would catch myself driving around and tears would roll down my cheeks. That feeling of failure raced through every nerve in my body, engulfing me with despair.
I eased much of detrimental feelings by going fishing more. It eases my mind and did it work? Yes, its my temporary fix for my mixed emotions. Today I feel alive once more and it feels great!
I am a fisherman!
It started out with I want a boat, I got one, I want equipment (Reels, Lines, Hooks, Lures, GPS, Depth Finder, Transducer, Rods, Coolers, Gas tanks, Radio, Speakers) I got them, and before you know it, $15K on the boat! And then more!!!!
Of course its expensive, but its also an investment. I have learned so much on my own and with the help of great fisherman who are willing to share. Yes, I have been fooled many times too, but thats part of the learning process. I would humbly like to thank the following: Gonzalo (Jun) Pangelinan, his brother Christopher Pangelinan, Joe Muna (Lin), Diego Benavente, Judge Alex Castro, Judge Perry Inos, Will Hunter, Will Schroeder, Alex Castro Jr., Sid Cabrera, Jess Muna (Dolores), Lino S. Tenorio, Jack "Wacko" Cepeda, Anthony S. Tomokane, and countless others! Each in their own has taught me a few things and while perfecting it to where I feel comfortable, I start bringing action on my own as a captain of the Boni fishing our Marianas pond.
This activity provides and crushes you at times, but like any other profession, you need to try. Time and time again, I started to build confidence in the wahoo fishing technique and I can honestly say when I go out for wahoo, I will get some on the deck! That is my strength today, I go after it and ensure that I do catch these beauties. Although there are the days when I want to go out and test a theory, it sometimes gets the best of me.
|Photo by Hyun Jae Lee|
I believe I have become quite good at fishing for Wahoos. some people are saying I am one of the most consistent wahoo fisherman on Saipan. How true is that? well I am not bragging. I do it for several reasons. 1st is my family having fresh fish for meals. Friends who desire the fish and of course I sell a few here to cover cost and add a few bucks to my name.
So sure, being unemployed had me worked up. I am up at dawn and resting when everyone else is asleep. I dubbed my title as the domesticated engineer! Hahahaha!
Paying the bills!
Each monthly obligation has me on my toes. I always ask myself if I could meet them. I am embarrassed towards my wife as I know she too has a lot on her plate and me as the man of the house, I don't want to fail her and my children.
I am creative and will find ways to make honest money to pay my bills and support my family. I focus a lot on my publication, yes I am a publisher too for Tops + More, your local magazine.
This is a quarterly publication focusing on positive insights of the Commonwealth. An opinion-based magazine offering feature stories that provide entertaining articles. Supported by advertisements, Tops + More is going on its 5th year. Personally I enjoy doing this! I write, take photos, work with an artist on the layout, do the sales pitch for advertising... The whole nine yards is on me! I guess this is why I feel it rewarding as I am all around and catering to the very needs of the publication, while ensuring that quality is visioned and achieved.
I don't dare over expose myself to advertisers. I pick a few and work with them, develop a strategy and create it. It is something I enjoy just like fishing so is it realy work?
Captains Log has been a great hit in the community. Its funny, tells true stories of my experiences with other fellow fishing buddies as well strategies learned or told by other fishermen in their plight to being successful in the pond. There is no dull feature on Tops as I try to entertain readers of what is great in our Commonwealth!
My latest issue is the on the right with Captain Lino Tenorio. He shares his views on deep drop fishing and successfully mastered the art. Dubbed the "Onaga King", he is definitely skilled in this arena. I know of no other person with a drive and his skill to bringing in these bright red tasty deep bottom fish.
My only success with deep drop was one night about a mile off from Managaha with a depth of approximately 1200 feet. I felt successful knowing I caught what we call wonder woman a.k.a. Monchong. A fish that is fatty and a definite plus to any culinary liking whether grilled, for sashimi, oven baked, fried, this fish does it all and because it just taste so good, you will not think of wasting anything on it!
With Tops + More, I am able to make just enough to carry me through each quarter. My monthly bills are prioritized as much as possible to lessen stress on my part. And when stress kicks in, I go fish again and again and again! Read on and fish on Marianas!
Next post will be about family, my new job and well what ever peaks my interest. I love our home in the Marianas and will defend whats great about it. For now, I leave to get rested and ready for yet another day in our beloved CNMI.