In finding a job in the Philippines, many feel that the palaksan system always prevails: it’s not what you know, but whom you know. But I have come to learn that sometimes, things can come in their own time. As Kuya Kim on TV says: “Ang buhay ay weather-weather lang.”
In the summer of 1997, I applied for a job at the Department of Education in Agusan del Norte. After the competitive exam, the interviews, and the teaching demonstration, I emerged sixth among the more than two hundred applicants from the entire province.
Three months later, I still didn’t get a position while those who ranked lower than me had already been assigned as substitutes in our own town, Nasipit. My co-applicant, a neighbor of mine, said knowingly: “Bisan unsa pa ka kataas sa ranking ba ug wala’y lakas, ‘la man jud.” No matter how high you rank in the exam, if you don’t know anyone, it will all come to naught.